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Press of Eaxd, Avbrt. & Co.. 117 FRAXKLiy Street. 


Murray's Manual of Mythology has been known to the 
American public thus far only through the English edition. 
As originally published, the work was deficient in its account 
of the Eastern and Northern Mxtholog}*; but with these 
imperfections it secured a sale in this country which proved 
that it more nearly supplied the want which had long been 
felt of a compact hand-book in this study than did any other 
similar work. The preface to the secona English edition 
indicates the importactj additions to, and ck^^nges which have 
been made in, the origioa^ worfci Chapters upon the North- 
em and Eastern M\thology h^?7e ]?ee3> supplied ; the descrip- 
tions of many of the 'Greek deities have been re-written ; 
accounts of the most memorable works of art, in which each 

deit}- is or was represented, have been added ; and a number 



of new illustrations have been inserted. This American 
edition has been rejDrinted from the perfected work. Every 
illustration given in the original has been carefully repro- 
duced ; and the new chapters upon Eastern and Northern 
Mythology have been thoroughly revised by Prof. W. D. 
Whitney, of Yale College, who has corrected some minor 
inaccuracies which had escaped observation in the English 
edition. The volume in its revised form is without a rival 
among manuals upon this interesting subject. For the pur- 
pose of a text-book in high schools and colleges, and a guide 
to the art student or general reader, it will be found invalu- 

On" C 



Introduction i 

Greek and Roman Mythology — 

The Creation of the World ..... 22 
Deities of the Highest Order .... 26 
Inferior Deities . . . . , . .120 

Demigods or Heroes ...... 200 

Norse and Old German Mythology . . . 309 

Mythology and Religion of the Hindoos — 

The Vedic Gods 328 

The Brah manic Gods . . '337 

Mythology and Religion of Egypt . . .341 

Index 353 



Amazon: xxxiii., 268. 
Andromeda: xxxii., 216. 
Aphrodite (Venus) : viii., ix., 

xxviii., 77, 8^, 168. 
Apollo: xi., 88, 96. 
Ares (Mars): viii., xxviii., 

75, 168. 
Ariadne: xvi., 120. 
Artemis (Diana) : xiv., 109. 
Asklepios (^sculapius) : 

xxxi., 178. 
Athene (Minerva) : xi., xii., 

88, 96. 
Aurora. See Eos. 
Bacchus. See Dionysos. 
Bellerophon: xxxii., 221. 
Brahma, with Saraswati: 

xlii., 337- 
Ceres. See Demeter. 
Chloris (Flora): xxi., 165. 

Cupid. See Eros. 
Demeter (Ceres): vi., 57. 
Diana OF Ephesus : xv., 115. 
Dionysos (Bacchus): xiv., 

DiosKURi: xxxiii., 286. 
Eos (Aurora): xxvii., 167. 
Erato: xiv., 161. 
Erinys: xxix., 189. 
Eros (Cupid): xxviii., xxix., 

168, 173. 

Euterpe: xxiv., 160. 

Fenris: xL, 320. 

Flora. See Chloris. 

FoRTUNA. See Tyche. 

Freija: xxxvii., 314. 

Freyr: xxxix., 317. 

Frigg: xxxvi., 314. 

Ganvmedes: xxviii., 178. 

Hades. See Pluto. 


Hebe: xxvi., 176. 
Hecate: vii., 70. 
Helios (Sol): xi., 96. 
Heph^stos (Vulcan) : viii., 

X., 79, 125. 
Hera (Juno) : iv., v., 46, 50. 
Herakles (Hercules) : xxx., 

Hermes (Mercury) : x., xvii., 

121, 134. 
Hestia (Vesta) : vi., 71. 
HoRiE: XXV,, xxxi., 129, 184. 
Hygiea: xxxi., 181. 
Hymen: xxvi., 172. 
Indra: xli., 329. 
Iris: xxvi., 162, 
Isis: xlv., 350. 
Janus: xvii., 132. 
Juno. See Hera. 
Jupiter. See Zeus. 
Kalliope: xxiii., 160. 
Kamadeva: xliii., 339. 
Klio: xxii., 159. 
Kronos: i., 29. 
KuRETES: vii., 29, 34. 
Laokoon: xxxiv., 299. 
Latona. See Leto. 
Leto (Latona) : xviii., 100. 
Mars. See Ares. 
Meleagros : xxxiii., 269. 
Melpomene: xxii., 159. 

Mercury. See Hermes. 
Minerva. See Athene. 
Muses, Mother of : xxiii., 

Neptune. See Poseidon. 
Nike (Victoria) : xxx., 183. 
Nile god: xliv., 348. 
NiOBE: xiii., 100. 
Odin: xxxv., 313. 
^0X0 [it: or, Fro7itispiece» 
Osiris : xliv., 347. 
Pan: xix., 136. 
Pegasos: xxi., 155. 
Perseus: xxxi., xxxii., 192, 

Pluto: vi., 56. 
Polyhymnia: xxi v., 160. 
Poseidon (Neptune) : v., 50. 
Proserpina: vi., d-j^. 
Psyche: xxviii., xxix., 170, 

Rhea: i., ii., 29, 33. 
Satyr: xix., 141. 
Serapis: xlv., 350. 
Siren: xx., 149. 
Siva: xliii., 338. 
Sol. See Helios. 
Terpsichore: xxv., 161. 
Thalia: xxii., 159. 
Themts: xviii., 127. 
Theseus: xxxiv., 265. 


Thor: xxxviii., 315. 
Trimurti (Hindoo Trinity): 

xli., s^6. 
Tritons: xx., 148. 
Tyche (Fortuna) : xxi., 1S2. 
Urania; xxi v., 160. 
Venus. Sec Aphrodite. 

Vesta. See Hestia. 
Victoria. See Nike. 
Vishnu: xlii., 338. 
Vulcan. See HpipHiESTOS. 
Zeus (Jupiter): ii.,iii., 35- 


THERE is a charm in the name of ancient Greece ; there 
is glory in every page of her history; there is a fas- 
cination in the remains of her literature^ and a sense of un- 
approachable beauty in her works of art ; there is a spell in 
her climate still, and a strange attraction in her ruins. We 
are familiar with the praises of her beautiful islands ; our poets 
sing of her lovely genial sky. There is not in all the land a 
mountain, plain, or river, nor a fountain, grove, or wood, that 
is not hallowed by some legend or poetic tale. The names of 
her artists, Pheidias, Praxiteles, Apelles, and Zeuxis ; of her 
poets. Homer, Pindar, ^schylus, Sophocles, Euripides ; of her 
philosophers, Socrates, Plato, Epicurus; the names of her 
statesmen and orators, Pericles and Demosthenes ; of her his- 
torians, Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon ; of her ma- 
thematicians, Archimedes and Euclid, are familiar to us as 
household words. We look back over a period of more than 
two thousand years with feelings of wonder at her achieve- 
ments on the battle-field and in the arts of peace. We emu- 
late her in many ways, but always confess to failure ; and when 
we have no desire of emulation, we are still ready in most 
cases to admire. 

How far we may find just cause for admiration or the con- 
trary with regard to her religion remains to be seen. But 


whichever way it be, we shall at any rate find abundant evi- 
dence of the intense hold it had upon the great mass of the 
people, and of the important influence it was calculated to 
exercise on their civilization. For it was in the firm belief of 
his interests being the special care of a deity that the husband- 
man sowed his seed, and watched the vicissitudes of its growth ; 
that the sailor and trader entrusted life and property to the 
capricious sea. The mechanic traced the skill and handicraft 
which grew unconsciously upon him by practice to the direct 
influence of a god. Artists ascribed the mysterious evolution 
of their ideas, and poets the inspiration of their song, to the 
same superior cause. Daily bread and daily life, the joy and 
gladness that circulated at festal gatherings, were duly acknow- 
ledged as coming from the same high source. Everywhere in 
nature was felt the presence of august invisible beings : in the 
sky, with its luminaries and clouds ; on the sea, with its fickle, 
changeful movements ; on the earth, with its lofty peaks, its 
plains and rivers. It seemed that man himself, and everything 
around him, was upheld by Divine power ; that his career was 
marked out for him by a rigid fate which even the gods could 
not alter, should they wish it on occasion. He was indeed 
free to act, but the consequences of all his actions were settled 

These deities to whom the affairs of the world were entrusted 
were, it was believed, immortal, though not eternal in their 
existence, as we shall see when we come to read the legends 
concerning their birth. In Crete there was even a story of 
the death of Zeus, his tomb being pointed out; and, further, 
the fact that the gods were believed to sustain their existence 
by means of nectar and ambrosia, is sufficient proof of their 
being usually deemed subject to the infirmities of age. Being 


immortal, they were next, as a consequence, supposed to be 
omnipotent and omniscient. Their physical strength was ex- 
traordinary, the earth shaking sometimes under their tread. 
Whatever they did was done speedily. They moved through 
space almost without the loss of a moment of time. They 
knew all things, saw and heard all things with rare exceptions. 
They were wise, and communicated their wisdom to men. 
They had a most strict sense of justice, punished crime rigor- 
ously, and rewarded noble actions, though it is true that they 
were less conspicuous for the latter. Their punishments came 
quickly, as a rule; but even if late, even if not till the second 
generation, still they came without fail. The sinner who 
escaped retribution in this life was sure to obtain it in the 
lower world ; while the good who _died unrewarded enjoyed 
the fruit of their good actions in the next life. To many this 
did not appear a satisfactory way of managing human affairs, 
and hence there frequently arose doubts as to the absolute jus- 
tice of the gods, and even the sanctity of their lives. These 
doubts were reflected in stories, which, to the indignation of 
men like the poet Pindar, represented this or that one of the 
gods as guilty of some offence or other, such as they were be- 
lieved to punish. Philosophers endeavored to explain these 
stories, some as mere fictions of the brain, others as allegories 
under which lay a profound meaning. But the mass of the 
people accepted them as they came, and nevertheless believed 
in the perfect sanctity of the gods, being satisfied that human 
wickedness was detested and punished by them. 

Whether the gods were supposed to love the whole of man- 
kind, or only such as led good lives, is not certain. It would 
seem, however, from the universal practice of offering sacrifice 
and expiation on the occasion of any wrong, that they were be- 


lieved to be endowed with some deep feeling of general love, 
which even sinners could touch by means of atonement. At 
all events they were merciful. They hated excessive prosperity 
among individual men, and would on such occasions exercise 
a Satanic power of leading them into sin. They implanted 
unwritten laws of right and wrong in the human breast. So- 
cial duties and engagements were under their special care, as 
were also the legislative measures of states. 

There were tales of personal v^isits and adventures of the 
gods among men, taking part in battles, and appearing in 
dreams. They were conceived to possess the form of human 
beings, and to be, like men, subject to love and pain, but al- 
ways characterized by the highest qualities and grandest form 
that could be imagined. To produce statues of them that would 
equal this high ideal was the chief ambition of artists ; and in 
presence of statues in which success had been attained, the pop- 
ular mind felt an awe as if in some way the deity were near. 
But while this was the case with regard to the renowned ex- 
amples of art, such as the statue of Zeus at Olympia, by Phei- 
dias, it was equally true with regard to those very ancient rude 
figures of deities which were believed to have fallen from hea- 
ven, and were on that account most carefully preserved in 
temples, the removal or loss of such a figure being considered 
an equivalent to the loss of the favour of the deity whose image 
it was. This was idolatry. At the same time, owing to the 
vast number of beautiful and grand statues of gods, there 
gradually arose a feeling of the deification of man and a struggle 
to become more and more like these beings of nobler human 
form and divine presence. For it is one of the advantages of 
liaving gods possessed of human form that mankind can look 
up to them with the feeling of having something in common, 


and the assurance of pity and favor. This was a powerful 
element in the Greek religion, and led more than any other 
to the extraordinary piety of the Greek race, in spite of all the 
awkward stories whicli we are accustomed to ridicule. 

It would seem that the gods were not looked on, at any rate 
popularly, as having created the world. Perhaps the mass of 
the i)eople cared nothing for speculation as to the origin of 
what actually existed, their chief thoughts being concentrated 
in the changes that took place in what existed and directly 
affected their interests. In this spirit they looked on the gods 
as only maintaining and preserving the existing order and 
system of things according to their divine wisdom. Hence it 
was that the Greeks never arrived at the idea of one absolute 
eternal God, though they very nearly approached that idea in 
the case of Zeus, who occasionally exercised control or sove- 
reignty over the other gods who presided in particular depart- 
ments in the management of the world. Their natural tendency 
to polytheism may have been further aggravated by the pecu- 
liar circumstances of their early history as a race. It has been 
suggested with much plausibility that a number of their deities, 
as Dione, Hera, Gaea, and Demeter, resemble each other so 
much as to warrant the reasonableness of the conclusion that 
their separate existence in the mythology was due to a coales- 
cence at some remote early time of distinct tribes of the Greek 
race, each possessing beforehand a god or gods of their own, 
with separate names and slightly different attributes, though 
in the main capable of identification and a common worship. 
It is probable that, in consequence of such amalgamation, some 
of the earliest gods have disai)peared altogether; while others, 
who in after times, as in the case of Dione, held subordinate 
positions, may have originally been deities of the first order. 


At the time with which we are here concerned, the Greek 
nation inhabited the country still known by the name of 
Greece, though its present population has small claim to be 
descendants of the ancient race. It was spread also in colonies 
over the islands of the Archipelago and Mediterranean, along 
the coasts of Asia Minor and the Black Sea, in the Crimea, 
on the north coast of Africa, and on the south coast of France. 
In many of its features the mainland of Greece may be com- 
pared with England, both having the same comparatively vast 
extent of sea coast, very few parts of the country being out of 
sight of the sea. Both are well supplied with mountains that 
invigorate the climate, and stir the spirit of adventure. In 
both cases it may be that this proximity of the greater part of 
the population to the sea, with its horizon tempting young 
minds to penetrate beyond its ever-receding line, was the main 
cause of the general desire of commerce and distant coloniza- 
tion. At any rate, the natural features of Greece, her beauti- 
ful bays, the vivid lines of her mountain peaks, her delightful 
groves and valleys, made a deep impression on the people; 
and colonists, wherever they spread, retained the warmest re- 
collection of them; of snow-clad Olympos, where the gods 
lived ; of the lovely vale of Tempe ; of the smiling banks of 
thePeneios; of the sacred grove at Delphi ; of peaceful Arcadia, 
with its pastoral life ; of the broad plain of Olympia, with its 
innumerable temples, statues, and treasure-houses of costly 
presents to the gods; of Corinth, with its flag that ruled the 
sea; of Athens; of Thebes, with its ancient citadel founded 
by Cadmus; of Eleusis, and many other places. 

We propose now to examine more particularly the religious 
belief of the Greeks and Romans, with the view of preparing 
the way for tlie descriptions that follow of the gods indivi- 


dually. But first of all let us explain the meaning of the word 
"mythology." According to its derivation from the () reck 
myfhos, a tale, and /o}^os, an account, it would mean " an ac- 
count of tales," the tales in this case being confined to the 
origin, character, and functions of the ancient gods, to the 
origin of mankind, and the i)rimitive condition of the visible 
world. To understand these stories we must try to understand 
the circumstances under which they were invented, and must 
endeavour to comprehend the condition and circumstances of 
a nation in the early stage of its existence. For this purpose 
we can compare the early tales relating to the gods of other 
nations, of the Indian on the one hand and the German on 
the other; or we may also compare the condition of races at 
present in an uncivilized state. From these sources it would 
seem that the youth of a nation, like that of an individual, is 
the period at which the activity of imagination and fancy is 
greatest in prop9rtion as knowledge is least. The mystery of 
surrounding nature strikes forcibly on the mind, its phenomena 
on the senses. There is a feeling of alarm when thunder 
crashes on the ear, of gladness in the warm light of day, of 
terror in the darkness of night, and of a strange dread at the 
darkness of death. The accidents of daily life bind men to- 
gether, and repel the rest of the animal creation, over which 
the human superiority soon becomes known. Men learn to 
know each other when as yet they know nothing else. They 
know their own passions and instincts. They measure every- 
thing by themselves, by feet, paces, palms, and ells; and when 
they seek to fathom or measure the cause of the phenomena of 
nature they have no standard to employ at hand, except them- 
selves. They might, it is true, imagine the cause of the thun- 
der under the form of a great invisible lion ; but in that case 


they could not commune with and implore the thunderer for 
pity, as they are moved to do. He must therefore be con- 
ceived as fashioned like a man, endowed with the highest ima- 
ginable qualities of a man. As knowledge and civilization 
advance, those qualities become higher and higher. It seems 
probable that the first phenomena that appealed to the mind 
were those of the change of weather, of seasons, the revolving 
day and the revolving year. At any rate, the earliest deities, 
as well as we can trace them, appear to be those who presided 
over the movements of the celestial sphere. 

We seem to recognise the influence of such phenomena in 
the chief characteristics of mankind in a primitive stage of 
existence — the sense of order and regularity, the feeling of 
fatality, the conviction that whatever temporary disturbances 
might arise, the course of human life obeyed some fixed law, 
coming with bright light, and departing in darkness, but only 
to commence another day of happy life elsewhere. We know 
that the name of the highest god of the ancients signified the 
"light of the world,'* in a literal sense. In time, as the per- 
ceptive faculties expanded, and the wants of men multiplied, 
the other phenomena of the world became the subject of in- 
quiry, and were, as usual, ascribed to the direct influence of 
deities. The singular part, however, of this process of invent- 
ing deities is, that having, at the commencement, obtained 
one great powerful god, they did not simply extend his func- 
tions to all the departments of nature, instead of finding a 
new god to preside over each. It may be that the apparent 
conflict frequently observed between the elements of nature 
was hostile to such an idea, while on the contrary nothing 
was more readily im.aginable than a quarrel among different 
gods as the cause of such phenomena. By a similar process 


the combination of different elements, as, for example, warmth 
and moisture, was ap[)ropriately described from the human 
point of view as a i)rolific union or marriage of two deities. 
The sun and moon were called brother and sister. 

Another opinion, somewhat at variance with this, is, that the 
primitive stage of all religions is a universal belief in one great 
god — such a belief, it is said, being as natural to man as the use 
of his arms and legs. But this earliest and pure form of belief 
became, they say, in course of time debased into a belief in the 
existence of many gods, originating in such a method of ex- 
plaining the phenomena of nature as we have described. 

On the other hand, the oldest religious records we know of 
— the Vedas — speak of hosts of divine beings; while in the 
primitive religion of the American Indians the Great Spirit is 
surrounded by a crowd of lesser spirits, who represent the va- 
rious phenomena of nature. It would seem that when the 
notion of one god did arise, it was of the one true God as 
opposed to the other and false gods, and this did not take 
place till a high stage of civilization was reached. In the best 
times of Greece, no doubt, thinking men acknowledged but 
one supreme being, and looked on the crowd of other gods 
as merely his servants, and in no sense really different from 
our idea of angels. 

In due time the religion of the ancients became a polytheism 
on a very extensive scale ; every i)hase of nature, sky, sea, and 
earth, every phase of human life, its habits, accidents, and 
impulses, being provided with a special guardian and control- 
ling deity. In all the varying circumstances of life men turned 
to one or other of these divine persons in gratitude or for 
help. Temples, sanctuaries, altars, were erected to them every- 
where, one being worshipped with special favour here, and an- 


Other there ; one with special favour at one season of the year, 
another at another season. Many of them were only known 
and worshipped in particular localities ; as, for instance, ma- 
rine deities among people connected with the sea. Others be- 
longed to particular periods of the national history. This li- 
mitation, however, with regard to local differences, applies 
only to the vast number of minor deities whose names and at- 
tributes have come down to our times; for a belief in the su- 
perior order of gods was the common property of the whole 
nation, whether learned or unlearned, and of whatever occu- 
pation. The mysteries of Eleusis united the people in honour 
of Demeter; the national festivals united them in honour of 
other gods, as of Zeus at Olympia. Every one believed in 
the oracular power of Apollo, in the might of Poseidon, in 
the grim character of Hades, that Hera was the wife of Zeus, 
that Athene was his daughter, that Aphrodite was the goddess 
of love, Artemis of the moon, and Ares the god of war. 

It was believed that these higher deities inhabited Olympos, 
living together in a social state which was but a magnified re- 
flection of the social system on earth. Quarrels, love passa- 
ges, mutual assistance, and such incidents as characterize hu- 
man life, were ascribed to them. It must however be borne 
in mind that these human attributes, and the stories connected 
with them, whether they represent admirable qualities or the 
reverse, were not in the first instance ascribed to the gods out 
of a desire to make their resemblance to man more complete, 
but were the natural result of identifying the gods with the 
elements of nature over which they were supposed to preside, 
of conceiving and representing the combination or conflict 
of elements visible in nature as the result of the combination 
of invisible beings of human form. In later times of higher 


civilization and greater refinement, wlien the origin of the 
gods as personificxitions of natural plienomena was lost sight 
of, many of these stories came to be viewed as disgraceful, 
and by being made the subject of jiubiic ridicule in plays 
tended largely to uproot the general faith in the gods. Phi- 
losophers attempted to explain them as allegories. Others, 
who did not themselves sec their way to believing them, yet 
advised that the popular faith in them should not be disturbed. 
But we who live in other times, having no need of a religion 
that has long since passed away, and desiring only to trace its 
origin and the source of its long and deep influence on a great 
nation, may look at them in a calmer mood. It is our part 
to admire as far as possible, and not to condemn without first 
taking into account every extenuating circumstance. 

Turning now to the rites and ceremonies by which the 
Greeks and Romans expressed their belief in and entire de- 
pendence on the gods, we would call attention first to the 
offering of sacrifices. These were of two kinds, one consist- 
ing of fruits, cakes, and wine; the other of animals, which 
were led to the altar decked with garlands and ribbons, after 
various ceremonies slain, and part of the flesh consumed upon 
the altar fire, the smell of it being supposed to rise agreeably 
to the gods. It was necessary that the animals selected for 
this purpose should be spotless and healthy,* that the persons 
participating in the ceremony should be cleanly in person and 
in mind ; for no costliness could make the oflering of a sinner 
acceptable to the gods. The colour, age, and sex of the ani- 
mal were determined by the feeling of appropriateness to the 
deity for whom it was slain. The time chosen for the cere- 
mony was the morning in the case of the gods of heaven, the 
evening in the case of the gods of the lower world.. To these 


latter deities the victim was always offered entire, as it was 
not deemed possible that they could share in a feast in com- 
pany with men. The fire on the altar was considered holy, 
and special care was taken that it should be fed with wood 
that gave a pure flame. In early times it would seem that 
even human beings were offered as sacrifices to certain gods, 
the \ictims in such cases being occasionally, to judge from the 
instance of Iphigenia, closely connected by ties of blood and 
affection with the person required to make the sacrifice. But 
these were, perhaps, mostly cases in which the will of the 
gods was specially communicated through a seer or prophet ; 
whereas sacrifice generally was a spontaneous gift to the gods, 
either for the purpose of expressing gratitude for the blessings 
bestowed by them, or of atoning for some sin of which the 
person sacrificing was conscious. Sacrifices were not pre- 
sented intermittently and at mere pleasure, but regularly when 
occasion offered, as at harvest time, when the fruits of the 
fields and gardens were gathered in. The herdsmen sacrificed 
the firstlings of his flock, the merchant gave part of his gain, 
and the soldier a share of his booty in war. The gods to whom 
all prosperity and worldly blessings were due expected such of- 
ferings, it was thought, and punished every instance of neglect. 
There was, however, another class of sacrifices, springing 
from a different 'motive, and with a different object in view ; 
for example, to obtain by means of an examination of the 
entrails of an animal an augury as to the issue of some enter- 
prise, — a form of sacrifice which was held of great importance 
at the commencement of a battle ; or to sanctify the ratification 
of a treaty, or some important bargain between man and 
man ; or to obtain purification for some crime. In this last 
case it was supposed that the victim took the sin upon its own 

jNtroduction. 13 

head, and that both perished together. Hence no part of 
such victims was eaten. 

How the gods were supposed to partake of the share of 
sacrifices allotted to them is not always clear, though in the 
case of burnt offerings they may be imagined to have been 
satisfied with the smell that rose in the air, and in the case of 
libations with the aroma of the wine. With regard to the 
sacrifices in honour of the deities of the lower world, it seems 
to have been the belief that the blood of the victim, if poured 
into a hole in the ground, would sink down to them, and be 
acceptably received. In the same hole, or near by, were 
buried the ashes that remained on the altar on which the 
victim was consumed. The portions assigned to marine or 
river deities were simk in deep water. 

It was the duty of the priests to perform the ceremony of 
offering up the sacrifices brought to the gods in whose service 
they were. The first part of the ceremony was to take a bas- 
ket containing the sacrificial knife, some com, and perhaps 
also flowers, and to pass it, along with a vessel containing wa- 
ter, round the altar from left to right. The water was next 
purified by dipping a brand from the altar in it. Thereupon 
the people who had brought the sacrifice sprinkled themselves 
and the altar, and taking a handful of com from the basket, 
scattered it on the head of the victim as it approached. The 
priest then, after shearing a lock of hair from the head of the 
animal, and distributing it among the bystanders to be thrown 
on the altar fire, commanded silence, prayed that the ofiering 
might be acceptable to the god, and slew the victim. The 
blood, except in the case of the deities of the lower world, as 
has been observed, and the entrails, were mixed with wheat, 
wine, and incense, and placed upon the fire. 


The strong feelings of piety, gratitude, dependence, or con- 
sciousness of guilt, which gave rise to such offerings, gave rise 
also to a universal habit of prayer, and a desire to frequent on 
all possible occasions the temples and altars of the gods. 
Morning and evening, at the beginning of meals, at the open- 
ing of business in the courts of justice and public assemblies, 
a prayer was offered up, now to one god, now to another, or, 
if no particular deity appeared to be an appropriate guardian 
for the time and occasion, to the gods generally. There was 
this peculiarity in the Greek prayers, which we must not omit 
to mention, that after calling on a deity by his usual name a 
clause was added to save the suppliant from any possible dis- 
pleasure of the deity at the name employed ; for how could 
man know the true name of a god? We have an example of 
such a prayer in ^schylus: ''Zeus, whoever thou art, and by 
whatever name it please thee to be named, I call on thee and 
pray." In praying to the gods above it was the custom of 
the Greeks to lift the hands and turn the face towards the 
east ; of the Romans, to turn towards the north. A suppliant 
of the sea gods stretched out his hands towards the sea, and a 
suppliant of the gods of the lower world beat the earth with 
his hands. When a prayer was offered up in a temple the rule 
was to turn towards the sacred image. In cases of great dis- 
tress the suppliant would carry an olive branch, or a rod with 
wool twined round it, throw himself on the ground before the 
sacred image, and embrace its feet. Pythagoras, the philoso- 
pher, taught his followers to pray with a loud voice ; but loud 
prayers do not appear to have been customary. On the con- 
trary, it happened not unfrequently that the prayers were writ- 
ten on tablets, sealed and deposited beside the image of the 
god, that no human being might be aware of the request con- 



tained in them. Here is a specimen of what seems to have 
been the usual form: "Zeus, our lord, give unto us whatever 
is good, whether we ask it of thee or not ; whatever is evil 
keep far from us, even if we ask it of thee." 

Besides sacrifice and prayer there is still another class of 
ceremonies, in which we recognize the deep piety of the 
Greeks : first, the custom of consulting oracles, especially that 
of Apollo at Delphi, in times of great perplexity; and secondly, 
the universal practice, in cases of less or more sudden emer- 
gency, of trying to interpret the will of the gods by means 
of augury or divination in a vast variety of ways. Sometimes 
the augury was taken from the direction in which birds were 
observed to fly overhead. If to the right of the augur, who 
stood with his face to the north, good luck would attend the 
enterprise in question ; if to the left, the reverse. At other 
times an animal was slain, and its entrails carefully examined, 
the propitiousness of the gods being supposed to depend on the 
healthy and normal condition of these parts. But the gods 
were also believed to communicate their will to men in dreams, 
by sending thunder and lightning, comets, meteors, eclipses, 
earthquakes, prodigies in nature, and the thousands of unex- 
pected incidents that occur to men. As few persons were able 
to interpret the bearing of these signs and wonders, there was 
employment for a large class of people who made this their 
particular business. 

Finally, we must not forget to mention as a proof of the wide- 
spread religious feeling of the Greeks the national festivals, or 
games, as they are called, established and maintained in honour 
of certain gods. While these festivals were being celebrated 
it was necessary to suspend whatever war might be going on be- 
tween separate states, and to permit visitors to pass unmolest- 


ed even through hostile territory. These festivals were four 
in number: the Olympiaji, Pythian, Nemeaji, and Isth77iian. 

The first-mentioned was held in honour of Zeus, on the plain 
of Olympia, in Elis. It occurred every fifth year, and the usual 
method of reckoning time was according to its re-occurrence, 
by Olympiads, as we say. The games with which it was cele- 
brated consisted of running, wrestling, boxing, a combination 
of the two latter, horse-racing, either with chariots or only 
with riders. The prize of victory was simply a wreath of olive, 
and yet athletes trained themselves laboriously and travelled 
great distances to compete for it. Kings sent their horses to 
run in the races, and counted a victory among the highest ho- 
nours of their lives. The fellow-townsmen of a victorious athlete 
would raise a statue in his honour. Occasionally writers, as 
we are told of Herodotus, took this occasion of a vast assem- 
blage of their countrymen to read to them part of their 
writings. The Pythian games were held in honour of Apollo, 
in the neighbourhood of Delphi, and occurred every fifth year, 
there being competition in music as well as in athletics. The 
prize was a wreath of laurel. At the Nemean games, which 
were held in honour of Zeus, the prize was a wreath of ivy. 
The Isthmian games were held in honour of Poseidon, on the 
Isthmus of Corinth, and occurred every third year; the prize 
was a wreath of pine. 

It is remarkable and surprising that, with all the piety 
and religious ceremonies of the ancients, there existed among 
them no established means of instruction for the mass of the 
people, as to the character and functions of the gods whom 
they worshipped. There was, indeed, a regular priesthood, 
whose duty it was to conduct the public ceremonies, to offer 
up sacrifices, and to perform other offices peculiar to the god in 


whose service they were. But there their duties ceased. These 
ceremonies had been handed down from time immemorial, and 
that was perhaps sufficient guarantee of their importance to 
make the ordinary Greek assiduous in his observance of them. 
At any rate, this assiduity is not traceable to a clear and 
explicit knowledge of the character of the gods derived from 
public instruction. In regard to that, whatever unanimity 
existed was unquestionably due in the first instance to the 
influence of poets like Homer and Hesiod, and in the second, 
to the exertion of the persons connected with the oracle at 
Delphi. The effect of this state of things was a great amount 
of confusion in the popular mind, and not only in the popular 
mind, but also in the minds of men like Socrates, who con- 
fessed he did not know whether there was one Aphrodite or 
two, and wondered why Zeus, who was believed to be one 
god, had so many names. 

The preceding remarks, it should be here observed, apply 
for the most part only to the mythology of the Greeks, and 
do not extend to that of the Romans, except so far as they 
refer to the most primitive class of myths, such as those con- 
cerning the origin of the world. For the practice of identi- 
fying the mythologies of those two nations has no foundation 
in fact. Both races, it is true, belonged to one and the same 
great branch of the human family, and from that source de- 
rived a common kernel of religious belief. But before this 
kernel had developed far the two nations parted, and formed 
for themselves distinct and isolated settlements in Europe. 
In the long period of isolation, that followed, the common seed 
of religious belief with which both started grew up, was pro- 
pagated under quite different circumstances, and assumed a 
very different aspect. The Romans — in the early period of their 


histon- a pastoml, agricuitunil, simple, and more or less uni- 
ted people — had no need of a \-arioiis multitude of deities, such 
as the Greeks found necessary, scattered and separated as they 
were into a variety of tribes with a variety of occupations. 

From this, among other causes, it happens that many, even 
of the very early Greek mnhs, were quite foreign to thfe Ro- 
mans. To this class belong, for instance, the myths that de- 
scribe the conflict between Uranos and his sons : Kronos de- 
vouring his children to escape, as he thought, being dethroned 
by them, and Zeus placing his father, Kronos, in durance in 
Tartaros. No less strictly peculiar to the Greeks were those 
accounts of quarrels among the gods, wounds, and occasion- 
ally the banishment of certain gods to a period of service on 
earth. To these we may add the carrying off of Persephone 
by Pluto, and several other stories. With regard to the cere- 
monies which accompanied the worship of certain gods, we 
observe the same great difference between the two nations, 
and would cite as an example the wild mirestrained conduct 
of those who took part in the festivals of Dion}-30s, remark- 
ing that when in later times of luxur}^ a festival of this kind 
was introduced into Italy in honour of Bacchus, the Roman 
equivalent for the Greek Dionysos or Bakchos, the new festi- 
val was forbidden, and those who took part in it were viewed 
as persons of imbridled desires. Nor did Mercur\' ever ob- 
tain the wide-spread worship and honour paid to Hermes in 
Greece; and even Satumus, in spite of the Roman poets, 
was a very different god from the Greek Kronos. 

At the time when the Roman poets began to write, **' Greece 
captured was leading her captor captive.** Greek literature 
was the usual means of education ; Greek philosophy, Greek 
art, ^-everything pertaining to the Greeks, — constituted the 


principal pui^uit of educated men. Many would rather em- 
ploy the Greek than their own language in writing. Poets, 
constructing their poems often in close imitation of Greek 
models, replaced the names of gods that occurred in the Greek 
originals by names of native deities possessing some similari- 
ty of character, and told a Greek stor>' of a native Italian 
god ; or, failing such, employed the Greek name in a Latin 
form. At the same time no real adaptation or coalescence of 
the two religious systems ever took place. The Roman ceremo- 
nies and forms of worship remained for the most part distinct 
from the Greek, and peculiar to the race. In modem times, 
however, the literature (especially the poetr}-) of the ancient 
Romans was more familiarly known than the facts relating to 
their ceremonies and forms of worship. It was more early 
and familiarly known than the literature of Greece, and in- 
stead of upon the latter, the modem notions of Greek mytho- 
logy were founded on the statements of the Roman poets. 
Hence, arose a confusion which our own poets, especially those 
of the last centur)-, only made worse confounded. To meet 
tliis confusion we shall give the accredited Roman equivaloit 
by the side of the Greek gods, throughout our descriptions, 
and point out as far as possible the differences between them. 
Thus far our obser\*ations have been confined to the mjtho- 
log)- and religious ceremonies of the Greeks and Romans, es- 
pecially of the former. We have had ver}- little to say of the 
Romans, because, though equal perhaps to the Greeks in their 
piety and trust in the gods, they appear to have been very 
deficient in that quality of imagination which could readily 
invent some diWne personification for ever>- phenomenon of 
nature that struck the mind. As, however, it is our intention 
to include a description, even if ver}- brief, of the mythology 


of the Indian and Teutonic or Germanic races, it may be well 
to call attention here to the fact, now clearly ascertained, that 
these races are sprung from the same common family or hu- 
man stock to which the Greeks and Romans belonged, and 
that at least certain ideas concerning the origin and primitive 
condition of the world are common to the mythologies of them 
all. From this it is reasonable to conclude that these ideas 
were arrived at previous to the separation of this great Indo- 
Germanic family, as it is called, and its develoj^ment into 
distinct and isolated nations, as we find it at the dawn of 
historical times. From the Ganges to Iceland we meet with 
traces of a common early belief that the wild features of the 
earth had been produced by some long past convulsive conflict 
of Titanic beings, whom, though invisible, the stormy elements 
of nature still obeyed. We find that everywhere, within these 
limits of space and time, there existed among men the same 
sensitiveness to the phenomena of nature, — to light and dark- 
ness, to heat and cold, to rain and drought, to storms and 
peacefulness, — and the same readiness and power of imagining 
invisible beings of human form, but loftier attributes, as the 
cause of these phenomena. To these beings actions and habits 
of life were ascribed, such as were suggested by the phenomena 
which they were supposed to control; and in no case, it 
should be borne in mind,/was any feeling of morality or immo- 
rality intended to be conveyed. For instance, when we find 
the natural process by which the clouds pour out their rain up- 
on the earth, and are again filled from the sea, described as Her- 
mes (the god of rain) stealing the cattle (clouds) of Apollo, we 
cannot attach to the story the idea of criminality wliich it at 
first suggests. Simihir interjjretations we must he prepared to 
seek throughout tlie mythologies of the Indtj-Germanic races. 


It may now be asked, from what source is this knowledge 
derived of the mythohjgy of the ancients? To this we rei>ly, 
from the works of ancient writers, poets, historians, philo- 
sopliers, and others, to whom the religious belief of their 
countrymen was a subject of great importance, and whose 
writings have survived to our times; in the second place, from 
the representations of gods and mythological scenes on the im- 
mense number of ancient works of art that still exist, whether 
in the form of statues in marble and bronze, painted vases, 
engraved gems, or coins. These are the sources of our know- 
ledge, and without becoming more or less familiar with them 
it is perhaps impossible to understand fully the spirit of these 
ancient myths; and contrariwise, to be able to appreciate at 
its real worth the beauty of ancient works, whether in literature 
or in art, it is necessary to become acquainted with the mytho- 
logy and the religious spirit which guided their authors; and 
if that be not sufficient temptation to follow our descriptions 
of the various deities and heroes of ancient times, we can still 
appeal to this, — that a great part of our grandest modern 
poetry and works of art can only be intelligible to those who 
know the ancient mythology. 

Drawing near, as we are now, to the details of our subject, 
we become anxious to guard against all feelings of impropriety 
in what we may have occasionally to relate. We would there- 
fore remind the reader of the principle of interpretation which 
we have endeavoured to exi)hiin in the preceding pages. We 
would also repeat that we have here to do with a system of 
religious belief which, whatever its apparent or real shortco- 
mings may have been, exercised enormous influence on the 
education of at least two of the most civilized nations of the 


IN thinking of the origin of the world in which they lived, 
the Greeks for the most part, it would appear, were satis- 
fied with the explanation given by the poet Hesiod, — that in 
the beginning the world was a great shapeless mass or chaos 
out of which was fashioned first the spirit of love, Eros 
(Cupid), and the broad-chested earth, Gaea ; then Erebos, 
darkness, and Nyx, night. From a union of tlic two latter 
sprang ^ther, the clear sky, and Hemera, day. The 
earth, by virtue of the power by which it was fashioned, pro- 
duced in turn, Uranos, the firmament which covered her 
with its vault of brass, as the poets called it, to describe its 
appearance of eternal duration, the mountains, and Pontos, 
the unfruitful sea. Thereupon Eros, the oldest and at the 
same time the youngest of the gods, began to agitate the earth 
and all things on it, bringing them together, and making 
pairs of them. First in importance of these pairs were Ura- 
nos and Gaea, heaven and earth, who peopled the earth with 
a host of beings, Titans, Giants, and Kyklopes, of far greater 
physical frame and energy than the races who succeeded them. 
It is a beautiful idea, that of love making order out of chaos, 
bringing opposite elements together, and preparing a world 
to receive mankind. 

Another api^arently older and certainly obscure notion, is 
that expressed l)y Homer, which ascribes the origin of the 
world to Okeanos, ihc ocean. IIuw tlic carili and licavens 



sprang from him, or whether they were conceived as co-exist- 
ing with him from the beginning, we are not told. The 
numerous ant icnt stories, however, concerning floods, after 
which new generations of men si)rang up, and the fact that 
the innumerable fertilizing rivers and streams of the earth 
were believed to come from the ocean, as they were seen to 
return to it, and that all the river gods were accounted the 
offspring of Okeanos, suggest the prevalence of such a form 
of belief with regard to the origin of the world in times pre- 
vious to Hesiod. We are told that the ocean encircled the 
earth with a great stream, and was a region of wonders of all 
kinds ; that Okeanos lived there, with his wife Tethys ; that 
there were the islands of the blest, the gardens of the gods, . 
the sources of the nectar and ambrosia on which the gods 
lived. Within this circle of water the earth lay spread out 
like a disc with mountains rising from it, and the vault of 
heaven appearing to rest on its outer edge all round. This 
outer edge was supposed to be slightly raised, so that the 
water might not rush in and overflow the land. The space 
between the surface of the earth and the heavens was seen to 
be occupied by air and clouds, and above the clouds was sup- 
posed to be pure ether, in which the sun, moon, and stars 
moved. The sun rising in the eastern sky in the moniing, 
traversing the celestial arch during the day, and sinjcing at 
.evening in the west, was thought to be under the guidance of 
a god in a chariot drawn by four splendid horses^ After 
sinking into Okeanos, it was supposed that he took ship and 
sailed during the night round to the east, so as to be ready to 
begin a new day. 

In the region of air above the clouds moved the higher 
order of gods ; and when, for the sake of council or inter- 


course they met together, the meeting place was the summit 
of one of those lofty mountains whose heads were hid in the 
clouds, but chief of all, the inaccessible Olympos in Thessaly. 
Round the highest point of it was the palace of Zeus, with the 
throne on which he sat in majesty to receive such visits as 
those of Thetis (Iliad i. 498) when she came to plead for her 
son. On plateaus or in ravines lower down were the mansions 
of the other gods, provided, as was thought, with the con- 
venience of store-rooms, stabling, and all that was usual in 
the houses of princes on earth. The deities who thus inhabi- 
ted Olympos, and for that reason were styled the Olympian 
deities, were twelve in number. We do not, it is true, always 
find this number composed of the same gods, but the follow- 
ing may be taken as having been the most usual ; Zeus 
(Jupiter), Hera Quno), Poseidon (Neptune), Demeter 
(Ceres), Apollo, Artemis (Diana), Hephaestos (Vulcan), 
Pallas, Athene (Minerva), Ceres (Mars), Aphrodite 
(Venus), Hermes (Mercury), and Hestia (Vesta). Though 
allied to each other by various degrees of relationship, and 
worshipped in many places at altars dedicated to them as a 
united body, they did not always act together in harmony, a 
most memorable instance of their discord being that (Iliad 
viii. 13-27) in which Zeus threatened to hurl the others into 
Tartaros, and challenged them to move him from Olympos 
by letting themselves down with a golden chain and pulling 
with all their might. Should they try it, he said, he could 
easily draw them up with earth and sea to the bargain, fasten 
the chain to the top of Olympos, and let the whole hang in 
mid air. The name of Olympos was not coiifincd to the 
Thessalian mountain, though it may have had the earliest, as 
in after times it had the principal, claim to the tftle, but was 


applied to no less than fourteen mountains in various parts 
of the Greek world, each of which appears to have been 
regarded as an occasional meeting place, if not a permanent 
seat of the gods. Finally, the word was used to designate a re- 
gion above the visible sky, from which, to express its height, 
it was said that once a brazen anvil fell nine days and nine 
nights before it reached the earth. At an equal distance be- 
neath the surface of the earth was Tartaros, a vast gloomy space 
walled in with brass, where the Titans lived in banishment. 

The lower order of deities, having naturally no place in Olym- 
pos, were restricted to the localities on earth where they exer- 
cised their powers — as, for instance, the Naiads, or Nymphs 
of fountains, to the neighbourhood of fountains and springs; 
the Oreads, <^r mountain Nymphs, to the mountains and hills; 
and tlic Dryads, or Nymphs of trees, to trees. With regard to 
the place of residence of the heroes or semi-divine beings after 
their translation from earth, there existed considerable variety 
of opinion, of which we shall afterwards have occasion to speak. 

Representations of the deities assembled in Olympos for a particular occa- 
sion — as at the birth of Athene from the head of her father Zeus — occur not 
unfrequently on tlie Greek p;untccl v;ises. This was tlie subject chosen by 
Phcidias for the sculptures in one of the pediments of the Parthenon now ia 
the British Museum. The loss, however, of many of the figures renders it 
impossible to say now who were the deities he selected, or whether he evea 
adhered to the usual number of twelve. At one end of the pediment the sun 
rises in his chariot from the sea, at the other the moon rides away. The event 
must therefore have taken place at the break of day. The same fact is to 
be observed in the scene at the birth of Aphrodite, in presence of the assem- 
bled deities, with which Pheidias adorned the base of his statue of Zeus at 
Olympia, and of which we have still the description in Pausanias (v. 403.) At 
one end was the Sun stepping into his chariot, next to him Zeus and Hera, 
then Hephaestos (?) and Charis, then Hermes and Hestia. In the centre was 
Eros receiving Aphrodite as she rises from the sea, and Peitho crowning Aph- 
rodite ; then Apollo and Artemis, next Athene and Herakles, then Poseidon 
and Amphitrite, and lastly the Moon (Selene) riding away. The deities are 
thus grouped in pairs of male and female, those of greater importance being 
towards either end of the composition. 



IS a personification of the sky as the ancients saw and under- 
stood its phenomena, and with him, according to the ver- 
sion of mythology usually accepted by the Greeks, commences 
the race of gods. Next succeeded Kronos, and lastly, 
Zeus. With regard to this triple succession of supreme rulers 
of the world, we should notice the different and progressive 
signification of their three names, Uranos signifying the hea- 
vens viewed as husband of the earth, and by his warmth and 
moisture producing life and vegetation everywhere on it; 
Kronos, his successor, being the god of harvest, who also 
ripened and matured every form of life ; while in the person 
of Zeus, god of the light of heaven, as his name implies, cul- 
minated the organization and perfectly wise and just dispensa- 
tion of the affairs of the universe. Uranos, as we have 
already observed, was a son of Gaea (the earth), whom he 
afterwards married, the fruit of that union being the Titans, 
the Hekatoncheires, and the Kyklopes. 

The Hekatoncheires, or Centimani, beings each with a 
hundred hands, were three in number; Kottos, Gyges or 
Gyes, and Briareus, and rei)resented the frightful crashing 
of waves and its resemblance to the convulsion of earth(iuakes. 
The Kyklopes also were three in number: Brontes with his 


thunder, Steropes with his lightning, and Arges with his 

stream of light. Tliey were represented as having only one 
eye, which was placed at the juncture between nose and brow. 
It was, however, a large flashing eye, as became beings who 
were personifications of the storm-cloud, with its flashes of 
destructive lightning and peals of thunder. From a similarity 
observed between the phenomena of storms and those of 
volcanic eruptions, it was usually supposed that the Kyklopes 
lived in tlie heart of burning mountains, above all, in Mount 
Etna, in Sicily, where they acted as apprentices of Hephaes- 
tos (Vulcan), assisting him to make thunderbolts for Zeus, 
and in other works. Uranos, it was said, alarmed at their 
promise of fierceness and strength, had cast the Hekatonchei- 
res and Kyklopes at their birth back into the womb of the 
earth from which they had sprung. 

The Titans were, like the Olympian deities, twelve in 
number, and grouped for the most part in pairs: Okeanos 
and Tethys, Hyperion and Theia, Kreios and Eury- 
bia, Koios and Phoebe, Kronos and Rhea, Japetos and 
Themis. Instead of Eurybia we find frequently Mnemo- 
syne. Their names, though not in every case quite intelli- 
gible, show that they were personifications of those primary 
elements and forces of nature to the operations of which, in 
the first ages, the present configuration of the earth was 
supposed to be due. While Themis, Mnemosyne, and Jape- 
tos may be singled out as personifications of a civilizing force 
in the nature of things, and as conspicuous for having off"- 
spring endowed with the same character, the other Titans 
appear to represent wild, powerful, and obstructive forces. 
In keeping with this character we find them rising in rebellion 
first against their father and afterwards against Zeus. 


In the former experiment the result was that Uranos, as 
we learn from the poetic account of the myth, threw them 
into Tartaros, where he kept them bound. But Gaea, his 
wife, grieving at the hard fate of her offspring, provided the 
youngest son, Kronos, with a sickle or curved knife, which 
she had made of stubborn adamant, and told him how and 
when to wound his father with it irremediably. The enter- 
prise succeeded, the Titans were set free, married their sisters, 
and begat a numerous family of divine beings, while others of 
the same class sprang from the blood of the wound of Uranos 
as it fell to the ground. Of these were the Giants, monsters 
with legs formed of serpents; the Melian nymphs, or 
nymphs of the oaks, from which the shafts used in war were 
fashioned; and the Erinys, or Furise, as the Romans 
called them, — Tisiphone, Megsera, and Alekto, — crea- 
tures whose function it was originally to avenge the shedding 
of a parent's blood. Their form was that of women, with 
hair of snakes and girdles of vipers. They were a terror to 
criminals, whom they pursued with unrelenting fury. The 
whole of these divine beings, however, with the exception of 
the Erinys, who were worshipped at Athens under the name 
of the ''venerable deities," were excluded from the religion 
of the Greeks, and had a place only in the mythology, while 
among the Romans they were unknown till later times, and 
even then were only introduced as poetic fictions, with no 
hold upon the religious belief of the people. 




K R O N O S , 

(plate I.,) 

'The ripencr, the harvest god,' was, as we have already re- 
marked, a son of Uranos. That he continued for a long time 
to be identified with the Roman deity, Saturnus, is a mis- 
take which recent research has set right, and accordingly we 
shall devote a separate chapter to each. Uranos, deposed 
from the throne of the gods, was succeeded by Kronos, who 
married his own sister Rhea, a daughter of Gaea, who bore 
him Pluto, Poseidon (Neptune), and Zeus (Jupiter), 
Hestia (Vesta), Demeter (Ceres), and Hera (Juno). To 
prevent the fulfilment of a prophecy Svhich had been commu- 
nicated to him by his parents, that, like his father, he too 
would be dethroned by his youngest born, Kronos swallowed 
his first five children apparently as each came into the world. 
But when the sixth child appeared, Rhea, his wife, determined 
to save it, and succeeded in duping her husband by giving 
him a stone (perhaps rudely hewn intc? the figure of an infant) 
wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he swallowed, believing 
he had got rid of another danger. 

While the husband was being deceived in this fashion, Zeus, 
the newly-born child, was conveyed to the island of Crete, 
and there concealed in a cave on Mount Ida. The nymphs 
Adrastea and Ida tended and nursed him, the goat Amalthea 
supplied him with milk, bees gathered honey for him, and in 
the meantime, lest his infantile cries should reach the ears of 
Kronos, Rhea's servants, the Kuretes, were appointed to 
keep up a continual noise and din in the neighbourhood by 
dancing and clashing their swords and shields. 


AVhen Zeus had grown to manhood he succeeded by the aid 
of Gaea, or perhaps of Metis, in persuading Kronos to 
yield back into the light the sons whom he had swallowed and 
the stone which had been given him in deceit. The stone 
was placed at Delphi as a memorial for all time. The libe- 
rated gods joined their brethren in a league to drive their fa- 
ther from the throne and set Zeus in his place. This was 
done; but the change of government, though acquiesced in 
by the principal deities, was not to be brooked by the Titans, 
who with the exception of Okeanos proceeded to war. The 
seat of war was Thessaly, with its wild natural features sug- 
gestive of a conflict in which huge rocks had been torn from 
mountain sides and shattered by the violence with which they 
had been thrown in combat. The party of Zeus had its posi- 
tion on Mount Olympos, the Titans on Mount Othrys. The 
struggle lasted many years, all the might which the Olympians 
could bring to bear being useless until, on the advice of Gaea, 
Zeus set free the Kyklopes and Hekatoncheires, of whom the 
former fashioned thunderbolts for him, while the latter ad- 
vanced on his side with force equal to the shock of an earth- 
quake. The earth trembled down to lowest Tartaros as Zeus 
now appeared with his terrible weapon and new allies. Old 
Chaos thought his hour had come, as from a continuous blaze 
of thunderbolts the earth took fire and the waters seethed in 
the sea. The rebels were partly slain or consumed, and partly 
hurled into deep chasms, with rocks and hills reeling after 
them, and consigning them to a life beneath the surfiice of the 
earth. The cause of Kronos was thus lost for ever, and the 
right of Zeus to rule established for all time. 

The island of Crete, where civilization appears to have 
dawned earlier than elsewhere in Greece, and where the story 


of the secret up-bringing of Zeus was made the most of, was 
the principal centre of the worship of Kronos. Here, how- 
ever, and in Attica, as well as in several other districts of 
Greece, it was less as the grim go<l wlio had devoured his chil- 
dren that he was worshipix.'d than as the maturer and ripener, 
the god of harvest, who sends riches and blessings, prosperity 
and gladness. So it happened that his festivals in Greece, the 
Kronia, and the corresponding Saturnalia in Italy, were 
of that class which imjxjscd no restraint on the mirth and 
pleasure of those present, and seemed like a reminiscence of 
an age when under the rule of Kronos there had been a per- 
petual harvest time on earth. As the devourer of his children 
Kronos bears some resemblance to the Phoenician Moloch, 
and it is highly probable that this phase of his character ori- 
ginated in Crete, where the influence of Phoinician settlers 
had been felt from very remote times. It is also to be noted 
that his wife Rhea enjoyed a very early and wide-spread wor- 
ship in Asia Minor. 

The scene where Rhea presents the stone carefully wrapped up to her hus- 
band as he sits on his throne, was the subject of a sculpture executed for Pla- 
taeae by Praxiteles (Pausanios ix. 2, 7), from which it is possible that the 
relief may have been made which is represented in Plate I, and is now in the 
Capitoline Museum, Rome. The thoughtfid attitude of Kronos, and esf>e- 
cially the veiled head, seem to indicate a plotting mind, while the sickle in his 
left hand is emblematical of his function as god of harvest, and at the same 
time a memorial of the deed he wrought upon *his father Uranos. The war 
with the Titans (Titanomachia) was superseded in popular estimation as 
early as the time of Euripides by the Gigantomachia, or war of Giants, which 
will be described in connection with Zeus. Artists following tlie popular taste 
neglected the former altogether as a source of subjects. 


According to the popular belief of the Romans, made his 
first appearance in Italy at a time when Janus was reigning 


king of the fertile region that stretches along the banks of the 
Tiber on either side. Presenting himself to Janus, and being 
kindly received, he proceeded to instruct the subjects of the 
latter in agriculture, gardening, and many other arts then 
quite unkno^vn to them: as, for example, how to train and 
nurse the vine, and how to tend and cultivate fruit-trees. 
By such means he at length raised the people from a rude 
and comparatively barbarous condition to one of order and 
peaceful occupations, in consequence of which he was every- 
where held in high esteem, and in course of time was selected 
by Janus to share with him the government of the kingdom, 
which thereupon assumed the name of Saturnia, ' a land 
of seed and fruit.' Tlie period of Saturn '"s government was 
in later times sung of by poets as a happy time when sorrows 
and cares of life were unknown, when innocence, freedom, 
and gladness reigned throughout the land, in such a degree 
as to deserve the title of the golden age. Greek mythology 
also has its golden age, said to have occurred during the 
reign of Kronos, and this, perhaps, more than any other 
circumstance, led to the identification of Satumus and Kronos, 
in spite of the real difference between the two deities. The 
name of Saturn's wife was Ops. 

Once a year, in the month of December, the Romans held 
a festival called Saturnalia in his honour. It lasted from 
five to seven days, and was accompanied by amusements of 
all kinds. During those days the ordinary distinctions were 
done away with between master and servant or slave. No 
assemblies were held to discuss public affairs, and no punish- 
ments for crime were inflicted. Servants or slaves went about 
dressed like their masters, and received from tliem costly 
presents. Children received from their p:irents or relatives 


Zeus, or Jupiter. 

RHEA. 33 

presents of pictures, probably of a gaudy type, purchased in 
the street where the picture dealers lived. 

There was a temple of Saturn in Rome, at the foot of the 
Capitoline Hill, containing a figure of him with his feet 
wrapped round with pieces of woollen cloth, which could only 
be removed during the festival of the Saturnalia. In one 
hand he held a curved garden-knife, as a sign of his having 
been the first to teach the people how to trim the vine and 
olive. In this temple were preserved the state chest and the 
standards of the army. 


(plates I. AND II.) 

As Uranos, the representative of the fertilizing force in 
nature, was superseded by Kronos the representative of a 
ripening force, so Gaea, the primitive goddess of the earth 
with its productive plains gave way to Rhea, a goddess of the 
earth with its mountains and forests. Gaea had been the 
mother of the powerful Titans. Rliea was the mother of gods 
less given to feats of strength, but more highly gifted: 
Pluto, Poseidon, and Zeus, Hera, Demeter, and 
Hestia. Her titles — as for example, Dindumene and 
Berekuntia — were derived for the most part from the names 
of mountains in Asia Minor, particularly those of Phrygia 
and Lydia, her worship having been intimately associated 
with the early civilization of these countries. There her name 
was Kybele or Kybebe, which also, from its being employed 
to designate her sanctuaries (Kybcla) in caves or mountain 
sides, points to her character as a mountain goddess. 


The lofty hills of Asia Minor, while sheltering on their 
cavernous sides wild animals, such as the panther and lion, 
which it was her delight to tame, also looked down on 
many flourishing cities which it was her duty to protect. In 
this latter capacity she wore a mural crown, and was styled 
Mater turrita. But though herself identified with peaceful 
civilization, her worship was always distinguished by wild and 
fantastic excitement, her priests and devotees rushing through 
the woods at night with torches burning, maiming and 
wounding each other, and producing all the din that was pos- 
sible from the clashing of cymbals, the shrill notes of pipes, 
and the frantic voice of song. To account for this peculiarity 
of her worship, which must have been intended to com- 
memorate some great sorrow, the story was told of how she 
had loved the young Phrygian shepherd, Attis, whose extra- 
ordinary beauty had also won the heart of the king's daughter 
of Pessinus ; how he was destined to marry the princess, and 
how the goddess, suddenly appearing, spread terror and con- 
sternation among the marriage guests. Attis escaped to the 
mountains, maimed himself, and died beside a pine tree, into 
which his soul transmigrated, while from his blood sprang 
violets like a wreath round the tree. The goddess implored 
Zeus to restore her lover. This could not be. But so much 
was granted that his body should never decay, that his hair 
should always grow, and that his little finger should always 
move. The pine was a symbol of winter and sadness, the 
violet of spring and its hopeful beauty. 

The first priests of Rhea-Kybele were the Kuretes and 
Korybantes, for whom it was also claimed that they had been 
the first beings of mere human form and capacity that had 
appeared on the earth, having sprung from the mountain side 

Zeus, or Jupiter. 


like trees. The great centre of her worsliip was always at 
Pessinus in Phrygia, under the shadow of Mount Dindymon, 
on which was a cave containing what was believed to be the 
oldest of her sanctuaries. Within this sanctuary was the 
tomb of Attis, and an ancient image of the goddess in the 
shape of a stone, which was said to have fallen from heaven. 
Tlie first temple at Pessinus had been erected, it was said, by 
King Midas. Successive rulers of Phrygia maintained and 
endowed it so liberally that it continued to be a place of im- 
portance long after Phrygian civilization had sunk. Spread- 
ing from this centre, the worship of Kybele took hold first in 
the neighbouring towns of Sardis, Magnesia, Smyrna, Ephe- 
sus, Lampsakos, and Kyzikos ; thence to Athens, and in later 
times to the mountainous district of Arcadia, where it was 
locally believed that Zeus had been born and that the creation 
of mankind had taken place. 

In Plate II. Rhea is represented as Mater turrita, or turrigera. In Plate I. 
she appears as the goddess of mountain tops, riding on a lion, and holding a 
sceptre in one hand and a cymbal in the other ; beside her the moon and a 
star. At other times she is seated on a throne with a lion in her lap, or with 
a lion at each side, or in a chariot drawn by lions or panthers. 


(plates II. AND III.) 

Third and last on the throne of the highest god sat Zeus. 
The fertile imagination of early times had, as we have seen, 
placed his abode on Mount Olympos in Thessaly. But a 
later and more practical age usually conceived him as in- 
habiting a region above the sky, where the source of all light 
was supposed to be. He was god of the broad light of day. 


as his name implies, had control of all the phenomena of the 
heavens, and accordingly sudden changes of weather, the 
gathering of clouds, and, more than all, the burst of a thun- 
der-storm made his presence felt as a supernatural being in- 
terested in the affairs of mankind. Hence such titles as 
'cloud-gatherer,' *god of the murky cloud,' 'thunderer,' and 
'mighty thunderer,' were those by which he was most fre- 
quently invoked. On the other hand, the serenity and bound- 
less extent of the sky over which he ruled, combined with the 
never-failing recurrence of day, led him to be regarded as an 
everlasting god: 'Zeus who was and is and shall be.' To in- 
dicate this feature of his character he was styled Kronides 
or Kronion, a title which, though apparently derived from 
his father Kronos, must have assumed even at a very early 
time a special significance; otherwise we should expect to 
find it applied also to his two brothers, Poseidon and Hades. 
The eagle soaring beyond vision seemed to benefit by its 
approach to Zeus, and came to be looked on as sacred to him. 
Similarly high mountain peaks derived a sanctity from their 
nearness to the region of light, and were everywhere in 
Greece associated with his worship, many of them furnishing 
titles by which he was locally known — as, for instance, Aet- 
naeos, a title derived from Mount ^tna in Sicily, or Ata- 
byrios, from a mountain in Rhodes. Altars to him and 
even temples were erected on hill tops, to reach which by 
long toiling, and then to see the earth spread out small be- 
neath, was perhaps the best preparation for approaching him 
in a proper spirit. In contrast with this, and as testimony to 
the saying of Hcsiod that Zeus Kronides lived not only in 
the pure air but also at the roots of the earth and in men, 
we find the low ground of Dodona in Epiros viewed with 


peculiar solemnity as a spot where direct communion was to 
be enjoyed with him. A wind was heard to rustle in the 
branches of a sacred oak when the god had any communica- 
tion to make, the task of interpreting it devolving on a priest- 
hood called Selli. A spring rose at the foot of the oak, and 
sacred pigeons rested among its leaves, the story being that 
they had first drawn attention to the oracular powers of the 
tree. It should here be noted that the real importance of this 
worship of Zeus at Dodona belonged to exceedingly early 
times, and that in the primitive religion of the Italian, 
German, and Celtic nations the oak was regarded with similar 

As the highest god, and throughout Greece worshipped as 
such, he was styled the father of gods and men, the ruler and 
preserver of the world. He was believed to be possessed of 
every form of power, endued with wisdom, and in his do- 
minion over the human race partial to justice, and with no 
limit to his goodness and love. Zeus orders the alternation 
of day and night, the seasons succeed at his command, the 
winds obey him, now he gathers, now scatters the clouds, and 
bids the gentle rain fall to fertilize the fields and meadows. 
He watches over the administration of law and justice in the 
state, lends majesty to kings, and protects them in the exer- 
cise of their sovereignty. He observes attentively the general 
intercourse and dealings of men — everywhere demanding and 
rewarding uprightness, truth, faithfulness, and kindness ; 
everywhere punishing wrong, falseness, faithlessness, and 
cruelty. As the eternal father of men, he was believed to be 
kindly at the call of the poorest and most forsaken. The 
homeless beggar looked to him as a merciful guardian who 
punished tlie heartless, and delighted to reward pity and sym- 


pathy. To illustrate his rule on earth we would here give a 
familiar story. 

Philemon aiid Baukis, an aged couple of the poorer 
class, were living peacefully and full of piety towards the 
gods in their cottage in Phrygia, when Zeus, who often visited 
the earth, disguised, to inquire into the behaviour of men, 
paid a visit, in passing through Phrygia on such a journey, to 
these poor old people, and was received by them very kindly 
as a weary traveller, which he pretended to be. Bidding him 
welcome to the house, they set about preparing for their 
guest, who was accompanied by Hermes, as excellent a meal 
as they could afford, and for this purpose were about to kill 
the only goose they had left, when Zeus interfered ; for he 
was touched by their kindliness and genuine piety, and that 
all the more because he had observed among the other in- 
habitants of the district nothing but cruelty of disposition 
and a habit of reproaching and despising the gods. To 
punish this conduct he determined to visit the country with a 
destroying flood, but to save from it Philemon and Baukis, 
the good aged couple, and to reward them in a striking man- 
ner. To this end he revealed himself to them before opening 
the gates of the great flood, transformed their poor cottage 
on the hill into a splendid temple, installed the aged pair as 
his priest and priestess, and granted their prayer that they 
might both die together. When after many years death over- 
took them they were changed into two trees, that grew side 
by side in the neighborhood — an oak and a linden. 

While in adventures of this kind the highest god of the 
Greeks appears on the whole in a character worthy of admira- 
tion, it will be seen that many other narratives represent him 
as labouring under human weaknesses and error. The first 


wife of Zeus was Metis (Cleverness), a daughter of the 
friendly Titan Okeanos. But as Fate, a dark and omnis- 
cient being, had predicted that Metis would bear Zeus a son 
who should surpass his father in power, Zeus followed in a 
manner the example of his father Kronos, by swallowing Metis 
before she was delivered of her child, and then from his own 
head gave birth to the goddess of wisdom, Pallas Athene (Mi- 
nerva). Next he married, it is said, but only for a time, The- 
mis (Justice), and became the father of Astraea and the 
Horae. His chief love was, however, always for Hera (Juno,) 
with her many charms, who, after withstanding his entreaties 
for a time, at length gave way, and the divine marriage took 
place amid great rejoicing, not on the part of the gods of hea- 
ven alone, for those other deities also, to whom the manage- 
ment of the world had been in various departments delegated, 
had been invited, and went gladly to the splendid ceremony. 
Hera became the mother of Hebe, Ares (Mars), and 
Hephsestos (Vulcan). Zeus did not, however, remain con- 
stant and true to the marriage with his sister, but secretly in- 
dulged a passion for other goddesses, and often, under the dis- 
guise of various forms and shapes, approached even the daugh- 
ters of men. Hera gave way to indignation when she found 
out such f!oings. From secret intercourse of this kind De- 
meter (Ceres) bore him Persephone (Proserpina) ; Leto 
(Latona) became the mother of Apollo and Artemis 
(Diana) ; Dione, the mother of Aphrodite (Venus) ; Mne- 
mosyne, of the Muses; Eurynome, of the Charites 
(Graces); Semele, of Dionysos (Bacchus); Maia, of 
Hermes (Mercur}^) ; Alkmene, of Herakles (Hercules) ; 
several of the demigods, of whom we shall aften\-ards speak 
being sons of Zeus by other and different mothers. 


These numerous love passages of Zeus (and other gods as 
well), related by ancient poets, appear to us, as it is known 
they appeared to the right-thinking men amongst the ancients 
themselves, unbecoming of the great ruler of the universe. 
The wonder is how such stories came into existence ; unless 
indeed this be accepted as a satisfactory explanation of their 
origin, — that they are simply the different versions of one 
great myth of the marriage of Zeus, peculiar in early times to 
the different districts of Greece, each version representing 
him as having but one wife, and being constant to her. Her 
name and the stories connected with their married life would 
be more or less different in each case. In after-time, when 
the various tribes of the Greeks became united into one peo- 
ple, and the various myths that had sprung up independently 
concerning Zeus came, through the influence of poets and by 
other means, to be known to the whole nation, we may ima- 
gine that the only way that presented itself of uniting them 
all into one consistent narrative was by degrading all the 
wives, except Hera, to the position of temporary acquaint- 
ances. It is, however, unfortunate that we cannot now trace 
every one of his acquaintances of this sort back to a primitive 
position of sufficiently great local importance. At the same 
time, enough is known to justify this principle of interpreta- 
tion, not only with regard to the apparent improprieties in 
the conduct of Zeus, but also of the other deities wherever 
they occur. Properly Zeus could have but one wife, such be- 
ing the limit of marriage among the Greeks. 

Of the several localities in Greece where the worship of 
Zeus was conducted with unusual ceremony and devotion, the 
two most deserving of attention are Athens and Olympia. In 
Athens the change of season acting on the temperament of 


tlic i)cople seemed to produce a change in their feelings to- 
wards the god. For from early spring and throughout the 
summer they called him the friendly god (Zeus Meilichios), 
offered imblic sacrifices at his altars, and on three occasions 
held high festival in his honour. But as the approach of win- 
ter made itself felt, thoughts of his anger returned, he was 
called the cruel god (Zeus Maemaktes), and an endeavour 
was made to propitiate him by a festival called Maemakteria. 
At Olympia, in Elis, a festival, which from an early period 
had assumed national importance, was held in his honour in 
the month of July (Hekatombaeon) every fifth year, that 
is, after the lapse of four clear years. It lasted at least five 
and perhaps seven days, commencing with sacrifice at the 
great altar of Zeus, in which the deputies from the various 
states, with their splendid retinues, took part. This ceremony 
over, a series of competitions took place in foot-racing, leap- 
ing from a raised platform v/ith weights {Jialtcres) in the hands 
to give impetus, throwing the disk (a circular plate of metal 
or stone weighing about 8 lb.), boxing with leather thongs 
twisted round the arm and sometimes with metal rings in the 
hands, horse-racing, chariot-racing with two or four horses, 
and lastly, a competition of musicians and poets. The lists 
were open to all free-born Greeks, except such as had been 
convicted of crime, or such as had entailed in former contests 
the penalty of a fine and had refused to pay it. Intending 
competitors were required to give sureties that they had gone 
through a proper course of training, and that they would abide 
by the decision of the judges. Slaves and foreigners might 
look on, but the presence of married women was forbidden. 
The entire management of the festival was in the hands of a 
board elected from their own number by the people of Elis. 


The plain of Olympia, where this national meeting in honour 
of Zeus was held, is now a waste ; but some idea may still be 
gathered from the description of Pausanias of its magnificent 
temple and the vast number of statues that studded the sacred 
grove. Within the temple was a statue of the god, in gold 
and ivory, the work of Pheidias, the most renowned of an- 
cient sculptors. It was forty feet in height, and for its beauty 
and grandeur was reckoned one of the Seven Wonders* 
of the ancient world. 

As some would have it, these games had been established 
by Zeus himself to commemorate his victory over the Titans, 
and even the gods in early times are said to have taken part 
in the contests. The people of Elis maintained that the fes- 
tival had been founded by Pelops, while others ascribed that 
honour to Herakles. The usual method of reckoning time 
was by the interval between these festivals, one Olympiad 
being equal to four years. The first festival from which the 
reckoning started, as ours does from the birth of Christ, oc- 
curred in the year 776 b. c. 

The birth and early life of Zeus, up to the period, when, 
after a long and fierce war around Olympos, he defeated the 
Titans and established his right to reign in the place of his 
flither Kronos, has already been related. That his two 

* The seven wonders of the ancient world were — (i) The Pyramids of 
Eg\pt ; (2) The Walls of Babylon ; (3) The Hanging Gardens of Babylon ; 
(4) The Temple of Diana at Ephesus ; (5) The Statue of Zeus at Olympia ; 
(6) The Mausoleum at Halicamassus ; (7) The Colossus at Rhodes; all 
monuments of art of extraordinary beauty or stupendous dimensions. In 
statues of gold and ivory, such as that of Zeus at Olympia, and many othei-s, 
the face and nude parts of the body were made of ivory, while the hair and 
drapery were reproduced in gold, richly worked in parts with enamel. We 
obtain an idea of the expense of such splendid statues, from the statement that 
a single lock of the hair of Zeus at Olympia cost about ^^250 of our money. 


brothers, to whose assistance he had been greatly indebted 
during the war, might have a share in the management of the 
world, lots were cast ; and to Poseidon fell the control of the 
sea and rivers, while Hades obtained the government of the 
world under the earth. Opposition, however, on the part of 
the kindred of Kronos had not yet ceased, and the new dy- 
nasty of gods had to encounter a fresh outbreak of war even 
more terrible than had been that of the Titans, the enemy be- 
ing in this case the Giants, a race of beings sprung from the 
blood of Uranos. The Giants took up their position on the 
peninsula of Pallene, which is separated from Mount Olympos 
by a bay. Their king and leader was Porphyrion, their 
most powerful combatant Alkyoneus, against whom Zeus 
and Athene took up arms in vain. Their mother Earth had 
made the Giants proof against all the weapons of the gods — 
not, however, against the weapons of mortals; and knowing 
this Athene brought Herakles on the scene. Sun and moon 
ceased to shine at the command of Zeus, and the herb was cut 
down which had furnished the giants with a charm against 
wounds. The huge Alkyoneus, who had hurled great rocks 
afthe Olympians, fell by the arrows of Herakles; and Por- 
phyrion while in the act of seizing Hera, was overpowered. 
Of the others, Pallas and Enkelados were slain by Athene, 
the boisterous Polybotes fled, but on reaching the island of 
Kos was overtaken by a rock hurled at him by Poseidon and 
buried under it, while Ephialtes had to yield to Apollo, 
Rhoetos to Dionysos and Klytios to Hecate or Hephaes- 
tos. To the popular mind this war with the Giants had a 
greater interest than the Titanomachia. Ultimately the two 
were confounded with each other. 

These wars over, there succeeded a period which was called 


the Silver Age on earth. Men were rich then, as in the 
Golden Age under the rule of Kronos, and lived in plenty; 
but still they wanted the innocence and contentment which 
were the true sources of human happiness in the former age ; 
and, accordingly, while living in luxury and delicacy, they 
became overbearing in their manners- to the highest degree, 
were never satisfied, and forgot the gods, to whom, in their 
confidence of prosperity and comfort, they denied the rever- 
ence they owed. To punish them, and as a warning against 
such habits, Zeus swept them away and concealed them under 
the earth, where they continued to live as daemons or spirits, 
not so powerful as the spirits of the men of the Golden Age, 
but yet respected by those who came after them. 

Then followed the Bronze Age, a period of constant quar- 
relling and deeds of violence. Instead of cultivated lands and 
a life of peaceful occupations and orderly habits, there came 
a day when everywhere might was right ; and men, big and 
powerful as they were, became physically worn out, and sank 
into the lower world without leaving a trace of their having 
existed, and without a claim to a future spiritual life. 

Finally came the Iron Age, in which enfeebled mankind 
had to toil for bread with their hands, and, bent on gain, did 
their best to overreach each other. Dike or Astrsea, the 
goddess of justice and good faith, modesty and truth, turned 
her back on such scenes, and retired to Olympos, while Zeus 
determined to destroy the human race by a great flood. The 
whole of Greece lay under water, and none but Deukalion 
and his wife Pyrrha were saved. Leaving the summit of 
Parnassos, where they had escaped the flood, they were 
commanded by the gods to become the founders of a new 
race of men — that is, the present race. To this end, it is said, 


they cast around them as they advanced stones, which pre- 
sently assumed the forms of men,, who, when the flood had 
quite disappeared, commenced to cultivate the land again and 
spread themselv-es in all directions; but being little better 
than the race that had been destroyed, they, too, often drew 
down the displeasure of Zeus and suffered at his hands. 

Among the Romans Jupiter held a place of honour cor- 
responding in some degree to that held by Zeus among the 
Greeks. His favorite title was Optimus T^Iaximus. His name 
being of the same derivation as that of Zeus, indicates his 
function as god of the broad light of day and armed with the 
weapon of lightning. Temples and altars were erected for 
the purposes of his worship, statues were raised, and public 
festivals held in his honour. As to sacrifice, both he and 
Zeus delighted most in bulls. To both the eagle, the oak, 
and the olive were sacred. 

The growth of religious feeling precedes the development of artistic faculty 
in man, and accordingly we find that in the earliest ages the presence of a god 
was symbolized only by some natural object. In the case of Zeus this was an 
oak-tree, while in the case of Rhea-Kybele it was, as we have seen, a stone 
which was believed to have fallen from heaven. The first artistic eiforts to 
reproduce the image of a god were called xoana, and consisted of a pillar 
rudely shaped like a human figure seen at a distance, the artist's attention 
being mostly directed to the head. Of this kind was the figure of Zeus 
Labrandeus as represented on the coins of Caria, the figure of Zeus with three 
eyes at Argos, and the figure of him without ears at Crete, Piety caused these 
rude and strange images to be retained till long after the art of sculpture had 
become equal to the production of imposing figures. The gold and ivory 
statue of Zeus at Olympia, of which mention has already been made, repre- 
sented him seated on his throne, and some small idea may still be gained of it 
from what is no doubt a copy of it on the coins of Elis. The bust of plate iii., 
known as the Zeus of Otricoli, is perhaps the best existing example of tlie face 
of Zeus as conceived by the Greek sculptors. The attributes of Zeus are the 
eagle, a sceptre, a thunderbolt, and, in the case of an ancient image in Caria, 
an axe. He is represented sometimes with Hera by his side, sometimes with 


Atbeiie, or with bodi, or with Athene and Hejukles. When he lca\-es hi» 
fcrone it is gejoeralbr to rise in might against an enen>y such as the Giants, and 
in these cases he is always armed with the thunderbolt, and either stands in die 
act of hurling it, or drives in a chariot attended by other gods, as he is fre- 
quently TO be seen on the ancient painted vases. Another fa\-ourite subject ou 
these vases is the birth of Adiejne frvmi the head of Zeus. In works of art no 
distinction is n-..ide between Zeus and Jupiter, for this reason, that Rome had 
no distinctive sculpture of its own. Hate vii. represents the inlmcy of Zeus 
in Crete. 


(^PLATES IV. A X D Y.), 

Was a di^'ine peisonification of what may be called the female 
power of the heavens — that is, the atmosphere, with its fickle 
and \-et fertilizing properties ; while Zeus represented those 
properties of the hea>Tens that appeared to be of a male order. 
To their marriage was traced all the blessings of nature, and 
when they met, as on Mount Ida in a golden cloud, sweet 
fragrant floweis sprang up around them. A tree with golden 
apples grew up at their marriage feast, and stre.mis of ambro- 
sia flowed past their couch in the happy island of the west. 
That marriage ceremony took place, it was believed, in spring, 
and to keep up a recollection of it, an annual festi\"al was held 
at that season in her honour. Like the sudden and ^-iolent 
storms, however, which in certain seasons break the peaceful- 
ness of the sky of Greece, the meetings of this divine pair 
often resulted in temporary quarrels and wrangling, the blame 
of which was usually traced to Hera ; poets, and most of all 
Homer, in the Iliad, describing her as frequently jealous, 
angrv", and quarrelsome, her character as lofty and proud, 
cold, and not free from bitterness. Of these scenes of discord 
we have several instances, as when {Uiad i. 5S6) Zeus actually 

Hera, or Juno. 



beat her, and threw her son Hephaetos out of Olympos ; or 
(Iliad XV. 18) when, vexed at her plotting against Herakles, 
he hung her out of Olympos with two great weights (earth 
and sea) attached to her feet, and her arms bound by golden 
fetters — an illustration of how all the phenomena of the visible 
sky were thought to hang dependent on the highest god of 
heaven; or again (Iliad i. 396) when Hera, with Poseidon 
and Athene, attempted to chain down Zeus, and would have 
succeeded had not Thetis brought to his aid the sea giant 
Aegaeon. As goddess of storms, Hera was consistently de- 
scribed as the mother of Ares, herself taking part in war occa- 
sionally, as against the Trojans, and enjoying the honour of 
festivals, accompanied by warlike contests, as at Argos, where 
the prize was a sacred shield. 

Her favourite companions, in periods of peace, were the 
Charites (Graces) and the Horae (Seasons), of which the 
latter are also found in company of her husband. Her con- 
stant attendant was Iris, goddess of the rainbow. The pea- 
cock, in its pride and gorgeous array, and the cuckoo as herald 
of the spring, were sacred to her. In the spring-time occurred 
her principal festival, at which the ceremony consisted of an 
imitation of a wedding, a figure of the goddess being decked 
out in bridal attire, and placed on a couch of willow branches, 
while wreaths and garlands of flowers were scattered about, 
because she loved them. Another singular festival was held 
in her honour every fifth year at Olympia in Elis, the cere- 
mony consisting in the presentation of a splendidly embroi- 
dered mantle {pcplos) to the goddess, and races in which only 
girls and unmarried women took part, running with their hair 
streaming down, and wearing short dresses, — the judges on 
the occasion being sixteen married women. 


The character, however, in which Hera was most generally- 
viewed was that of queen of heaven, and as the faithful wife 
of Zeus claiming the highest conceivable respect and honour. 
Herself the ideal of womanly virtues, she made it a principal 
duty to protect them among mortals, punishing with severity 
all trespassers against her moral law — but, naturally, none so 
much as those who had been objects of her husband's affec- 
tions — as, for instance, Semele, the mother of Dionysos, or 
Alkmene, the mother of Herakles. Her worship was re- 
stricted for the most part to women, who, according to the 
various stages of womanhood, regarded her in a different light : 
some as a bride, styling her Parthenia; others as a wife, 
with the title of Gamelia, Zygia or Teleia; and others 
again in the character of Eileithyia, as helpful at child- 
birth. Of these phases of her life that of bride was obviously 
associable with the phenomena of the heavens in the spring- 
time, when the return of dazzling light and warmth spread 
everywhere affectionate gaiety and the blooming of new life. 
As queen of heaven and wife of Zeus she will be found, in 
connection with the legends of Argos and its neighbourhood, 
possessed, from motives of jealousy, of a hatred towards the 
nocturnal phenomena of the sky, and especially the moon, as 
personified by the wandering lo, whom she placed under the 
surveillance of Argos, a being with innumerable eyes, and ap- 
parently a personification of the starry system. 

The town of Argos, with its ancient legends, which clearly 
betray some powerful sensitiveness to the phenomena of light, 
was the oldest and always the chief centre of this worship of 
Hera. There was her principal temple, and within it a statue 
of the goddess, by Polykleitos, which ahnost rivalled in 
grandeur and beauty the Zeus at Olympia, by PhcidiiLs. Next 


came Samos, with its si)lendid temple erected for her by Poly- 
kratcs. In Corinth also, in Euboea, Boeotia, Crete, and even 
in Lakinion, in Italy, she had temples and devotees. 

Juno, the Roman equivalent of Hera, was mostly regarded 
from the maternal i)oint of view, and in accordance with that 
frequently styled Lucina, the helper at child-birth. Temples 
were erected and festivals held in her honour — of the festivals 
that called Matronalia being the chief. It was held on the 
ist of March of each year, and could only be participated in 
by women, who went with girdles loose, and on the occasion 
received presents from husbands, lovers, or friends, making 
presents in turn to their servants. The spirits that guarded 
over women were called in early times Junones. 

The image of Hera is said to have consisted at first of a long pillar, as in 
Argos, and in Samos of a plank, and to have assumed a human form only in 
comparatively late times. The statue of her by Polykleitos, mentioned above, 
was of gold and ivory and of colossal size. It represented her seated on a 
tlirone, holding in one hand a pomegranate, the symbol of marriage, and in 
the other a sceptre on which sat a cuckoo. On her head was a crown orna- 
mented with figures of the Gharites (Graces) and Horae. We can still in 
some measure recall the appearance of the statue from the marble head known 
;)S the Juno Ludovisi (on plate iv.), from the coins of Argos, and from several 
ancient heads in marble of great beauty. Praxiteles made a colossal statue of 
h-" :n the character of the protectress of marriage rites, and also a group of 
her seated, with Athene and Hebe standing beside her. On the painted vases 
the scene in which she most frequently occurs is that where she appears before 
Paris to be judged of her beauty. 



(plate v.) 

It has already been told how, when all the resources had 
failed which the Titans could bring to bear for the restora- 
tion of Kronos to the throne, the government of the world 
was divided by lot among his three sons,' Zeus, Poseidon, 
Hades. To Zeus fell, besides a general supremacy, the con- 
trol of the heavens ; and we have seen how he and his con- 
sort Hera, representing the phenomena of that region, were 
conceived as divine persons possessed of a character and per- 
forming actions such as were suggested by those phenomena. 
To Poseidon fell the control of the element of water, and he 
in like manner was conceived as a god, in whose character 
and actions were reflected the phenomena of that element, 
whether as the broad navigable sea, or as the cloud which 
gives fertility to the earth, growth to the grain and vine, or 
as the fountain which refreshes man, cattle, and horses. A 
suitable symbol of his power, therefore, was the horse, ad- 
mirably adapted as it is both for labour and battle, whilst its 
swift springing movement compares finely with the advance 
of a foaming wave of the sea. ^' He yokes to the chariot," 
sings Homer in the Iliad, " his swift steeds, with feet of brass 
and manes of gold, and himself, clad in gold, drives over the 
waves. The beasts of the sea sport round him, leaving their 
lurking places, for they know him to be their lord. The sea 
rejoices and makes way for him. His horses speed lightly, 
and never a drop touches the brazen axle." 

It may have been to illustrate a tendency of the sea to en- 
croach in many places on the coast, as well as to show the 

Hera, or Juno. 

Poseidon, or Neptune. 

: 1 


importance attached to a good supply of water, that the myth 
originated which tells us of the dispute between Poseidon 
and Athene for the sovereignty of the soil of Attika. To 
settle the dispute, it was agreed by the gods thai; whichever 
of the two should perform the greatest wonder, and at the 
same time confer the most useful gift on the land, should be 
entitled to rule over it. With a stroke of his trident Posei- 
don caused a brackish spring to well up on the Acropolis of 
Athens, a rock 400 feet high, and previously altogether 
without water. But Athene in her turn caused the first olive 
tree to grow from the same bare rock, and since that was 
deemed the greatest benefit that could be bestowed, obtained 
for all time sovereignty of the land, which Poseidon there- 
upon spitefully inundated. 

A similar dispute, and ending also unfavourably for him, 
was that which he had with Hera concerning the district of 
Argos. But in this case his indignation took the opposite 
course of causing a perpetual drought. Other incidents of the 
same nature were his disputes with Helios for the possession 
of Corinth, with Zeus for ^gina, with Dionysos for Naxos, 
and with ApoUo for Delphi. The most obvious illustrations, 
however, of the encroaching tendency of the sea are the mon- 
sters which Poseidon sent to lay waste coast lands, such as those 
which Hesione and Andromeda were offered to appease. 

In the Iliad Poseidon appears only in his capacity of ruler 
of the sea, inhabiting a brilliant palace in its depths, travers- 
ing its surface in a chariot, or stirring the powerful billows 
till the earth shakes as they crash upon the -shore. This limi- 
tation of his functions, though possibly to be accounted for 
by the nature of the poem, is remarkable for this reason, that 
among the earliest myths associated with his worship are those 


in which he is represented in connection with well-watered 
plains and valleys. In the neighbourhood of Lerna, in the 
parched district of Argos, he had struck the earth with his 
trident, and caused three springs to well up for love of 
Amymone, whom he found in distress, because she could 
not obtain the water which her father Danaos had sent her 
to fetch. In Thessaly a stroke of his trident had broken 
through the high mountains, which formerly shut in the whole 
country and caused it to be frequently flooded with water. 
By that stroke he formed the pleasant vale of Tempe, through 
which the water collecting from the hills might flow away. 
A district well supplied with water was favourable to pasture 
and the rearing of horses, and in this way the horse came to 
be doubly his symbol, as god of the water of the sea and on 
the land. In Arcadia, with its mountainous land and fine 
streams and valleys, he was worshipped side by side with 
Demeter, with whom, it was believed, he begat that winged 
and wonderfully fleet horse Arion. In Boeotia, where he 
was also worshipped, the mother of Arion was said to have 
been Erinys, to whom he had appeared in the form of a 
horse. With Medusa he became the father of the winged 
horse Pegasos, which was watered at springs by Nymphs, 
and appeared to poets as the symbol of poetic inspiration. 
And again, as an instance of his double capacity as god of the 
sea and pasture streams, the ram, with the golden fleece for 
which the Argonauts sailed, was said to have been his offspring 
by Theophane, who had been changed into a lamb. Chief 
among his other offspring were, on the one hand, the giant 
Antaeos, who derived from his mother Earth a strength 
which made him invincible, till Herakles lifting him in the 
air overpowered him, and the Kyklops, Polyphemos : on 


the other hand, Pelias, who sent out the Argonauts, and 
Neleus the father of Nestor. 

To return to the instances of rebellious conduct on the 
part of Poseidon, it appears that after the conclusion of the 
war with the Giants a disagreement arose between him and 
Zeus, the result of which was that Poseidon was suspended 
for the period of a year from the control of the sea, and was 
further obliged during the time to serve, along with Apollo, 
Laomedon the King of Troy, and to help to build the walls 
of that city. Some say that the building of the walls was 
voluntary on the part of both gods, and was done to test the 
character of Laomedon, who afterwards refused to give Posei- 
don the reward agreed upon. Angry at this, the god de- 
vastated the land by a flood, and sent a sea-monster, to ap- 
pease which Laomedon was driven to offer his daughter He- 
sione as a sacrifice. Herakles, however, set the maiden 
free and slew the monster. Thus defeated, Poseidon relented 
none of his indignation towards the Trojans, and would have 
done them much injury in after times, when they were at war 
with the Greeks, but for the interference of Zeus. 

Though worshipped generally throughout Greece, it was in 
the seaport towns that the most remarkable zeal was displayed 
to obtain his favour. Temples in his honour, sanctuaries, and 
public rejoicings were to be met with in Thessaly, Boeotia, 
Arcadia, at Aegae, and Helike, on the coast of Achaea, at 
Pylos in [Messenia, at Elis, in the island of Samos, at Corinth, 
Nauplia, Troezen, in the islands of Kalauria, Euboea, Skyros, 
and Tenos, at Mycale, Taenarum, Athens, and on the Isthmus 
— that belt of land which connects Peloponnesos with the 
rest of Greece. In the island of Tenos an annual festival 
was held in his honour, at which he was worshipped in the cha- 


racter of a physician. People crowded to the festival from 
neighbouring islands, and spent the time in banquets, sacrifice, 
and common counsel. But chief of all the gatherings in his 
honour was that held on the Isthmus of Corinth in the au- 
tumn, twice in each Olympiad — a festival which had been es- 
tablished by Theseus, and in reputation stood next to the 
Olympian games, like them also serving the purpose of main- 
taining among the Greeks of distant regions the consciousness 
of their common origin. The Corinthians had the right of 
arranging and managing them, the Athenians having also cer- 
tain privileges. It was in his double capacity of ruler of the 
sea and as the first to train and employ horses that the honours 
of this festival were paid to him. His temple, with other 
sanctuaries, stood in a pine grove, a wreath from which was 
the prize awarded to the victors. The prize had originally 
been a wreath of parsley. In this sacred pine grove was to be 
seen the Argo, the ship of the Argonauts, dedicated to 
Poseidon as a memorial of the earliest enterprise at sea; 
and there also stood the colossal bronze statue of the god, 
which the Greeks raised to commemorate the splendid naval 
victory gained over the Persians at Salamis. Horses and bulls 
were sacrificed to him, the method of performing the sacrifice 
being to throw them into the sea. It was the practice of fortu- 
nate survivors of shipwreck to hang up some memento of 
their safety in one of his temples. 

The Romans, living mostly as herdsmen and farmers in early 
times, had little occasion to propitiate the god of the sea, and 
it was prol)ably, therefore, rather as the father of streams 
that they erected a temple to Neptunus in the Campus 
Martius, and held a festival in his honour attended with 
games, feasting, and enjoyment like that of a fair. 


Between Zeiis and Poseidon there is, in works of art, such likeness as would 
be expected between two brothers. But Poseidon is by far the more powerful 
of the two physically — his build, like that of Herakles, expressing the greatest 
conceivable strength. But unlike Herakles, his attitudes and especially his 
head, are those of a god, not of an athlete. His features, one by one, resemble 
those of Zeus, but his hair, instead of springing from his brow, falls in thick 
masses over the temples, and is matted from the water. His attributes are a 
trident and dolphin. Possibly the sacred figures of him in his temples repre- 
sented him seated on a throne, and clad in the Ionian chiton. But in the 
colossal statues of him erected on promontories and in harbours, to secure his 
favour, he was always standing wearing only a slight scarf, which concealed 
none of his powerful form, holding out a dolphin in his left, and the trident in 
his right hand, often witli one foot raised on the prow of a vessel. In works 
of art not connected directly with his worship he was figured (as on plate v.), 
traversing the sea in a car drawn by Hippocamps, or other fabulous creatures 
of the sea. In one of the pediments of the Parthenon tlie dispute between 
him and Athene was represented. 


The rightful wife of Poseidon, was the goddess of the sea, 
had the care of its creatures, could stir the great waves, and 
hurl them against rocks and cliffs. She was a daughter of 
Okeanos and Tethys, or, according to another report, of 
Nereus and Doris. Usually she was represented with flow- 
ing hair and the toes of a crab protruding from her temples ; 
.sometimes seated on the back of a triton or other creature 
of the deep, alone among sea-animals and seaweed, or accom- 
panying Poseidon. She may be compared with the sea-god- 
dess of the Romans, Salacia, Neverita, and Venilia. 




We have seen how Zeus, Hera, and Poseidon came to be con- 
ceived as the three great deities who between them controlled 
the elements of heavens, sky, and sea, and how a character 
came to be ascribed to each of them such as was most natu- 
rally suggested by the phenomena of the provinces of the 
world in which they respectively ruled. But there still re- 
mained a region which could not escape the observation of 
people like the Greeks, gifted with so keen a sense of the va- 
rious operations of nature. That region was, however, itself 
invisible^ being under the surface of the earth. The growth 
of vegetation was seen to be steadily upward, as if impelled 
by some divine force below. The metals which experience 
showed to be most precious to mankind could only be ob- 
tained by digging into that dark region under the earth. Thi- 
ther returned, after its day on earth was spent, every form of 
life. In conceiving a god who should be supreme in the 
management of this region, it was necessary to attribute a 
double character to him : first, as the source of all the trea- 
sures and wealth of the earth, as expressed in his name Plu- 
ton ,• and secondly, as monarch of the dark realm inhabited 
by the invisible shades of the dead, as expressed in his name 
of Ai'des. 

While by virtue of his power of giving fertility to vegeta- 
tion, of swelling the seed cast into the furrows of the earthy 
and of yielding treasures of precious metal, he was justly 
viewed as a benevolent deity and a tnie friend of man, there 
was another and very grim side to his character, in which he 

Pluto and Proserpina. 

Demeter, or Ceres. 

Hestia, or Vesta. 


appears as the implacable, relentless god, whom no cost of sa- 
crifice could persuade to permit any one who had once passed 
his gates ever to return. For this reason, to die, to go to 
Hades' house, to pass out of sight, to be lost in the darkness 
of the lower world, was looked forward to as the dismal in- 
evitable fate awaiting all men. Yet there must have been 
some consolation in the belief that the life thus claimed by 
him had been originally his gift, as were the means of com- 
fort and pleasure in life thus cut off. In later times, when the 
benevolent side of his character came more into view, assur- 
ing hopes arose concerning a future happy life that robbed 
death of its terrors. To impart such hopes was the purpose 
of the Eleusinian Mysteries. 

It seems to have been to make this union of two such oppo- 
site powers in the person of one god more explicit that the 
myth concerning his marriage with Persephone originated, 
she being, as we shall afterwards see, a personification of young 
blooming life. The grim god of the dead carries off by force 
a young goddess full of life. But no new life issues from the 
marriage. Yet she loved him, it would seem ; for when her 
mother, Demeter (Ceres), implored her to come back' to 
earth, her answer was that she had accepted from her husband 
the half of a pomegranate, or apple of love as it was called, 
and had eaten it. It is apparently in reference to this that 
both Hades and Persephone are represented in works of art 
holding each a fruit. 

Hades, being a son of Rhea and Kronos, was entitled, 
after the dethronement of the latter, to a share along with his 
two brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, in the management of 
the world. They cast lots, and to Hades fell the dominion 
over the lower world. The importance assigned to his domi- 


nion may be judged from the fact of its monarch being a bro- 
ther of Zeus, and styled, too, sometimes, ''Zeus of the lower 

With regard to the region where the realm of Hades was 
to be looked for we find the ancient authorities at variance, 
some representing it as in the under-world proper — that is, 
under the crust of the earth, others in the remote west, in 
Okeanos, where were the gloomy groves of Persephone. It 
was entered from the upper world by any spot of sufficiently 
sombre or wild natural aspect, particularly chasms with dark 
waters such as inspire terror. The most celebrated place of 
this kind was Lake Avernus, at Cumae in Italy, of which it 
was said, as of the Dead Sea, that no bird tried to fly across 
it but fell lifeless in its waters. Beyond these entrances was an 
open gate through which all comers had to pass, and having 
passed could not as a rule retrace a step. Exceptions to the 
rule were made in favour of heroes such as Herakles and 
Orpheus, who were permitted to visit the home of the dead, 
and return alive. The entrance was guarded by the dog of 
Hades, the dreaded Cerberus, a monster with three heads 
and a serpent's tail, fawning on those who entered, but show- 
ing his horrible teeth to those who tried to pass out. But be- 
sides by this gateway, the lower was separated from the up- 
per world by rivers with impetuous torrents, of which the 
most famous was the Styx, a stream of such terrible aspect 
that even the highest gods invoked it as witness of the truth 
of their oaths. Across this river the departed were conveyed 
by an aged ferryman appointed by the gods, and called Cha- 
ron, but not until their bodies had been buried in the earth 
above with all due ceremony of sacrifice and marks of affec- 
tion. Till this was done, the souls of the departed had to 


wander listlessly about the farther bank of the Styx, a pros- 
pect which was greatly dreaded by the ancients. For the 
ferry Charon exacted a toll {iiauloti), to pay which a piece of 
money {danakc) was placed in the mouth of the dead at bu- 

The other rivers of the under-world were named Ache- 
ron, that is, the river of "eternal woe"; Pyriphlege- 
thon, the stream of "fire"; and Kokytos, the river of 
" weeping and wailing." To these is added, by a later myth, 
Lethe, the river of " forge t fulness " — so called because its 
waters were believed to possess the property of causing the 
departed who drank of them to forget altogether their former 
circumstances in the upper world. The purport of this myth 
was to explain and establish the idea that the dead could not 
take with them into the realm of everlasting peace the con- 
sciousness of the pains and sorrows of their lot on earth. In 
the waters of Lethe they drank a happy oblivion of all past 
suffering, wants, and troubles, — an idea of the means of for- 
getting sorrow which later poets have made frequent use of. 

In the last book of the Odyssey the souls of the slain 
suitors, conceived as small winged beings, are described as 
being conducted to the realm of Hades by Hermes in his ca- 
pacity of Psychopompos (see Plate VI). The way is dark 
and gloomy. They pass the streams of Okeanos, the white 
rock, the gates of Helios, the people of dreams, and at last 
reach the Asphodel meadow, where the spirits of the dead 
inhabit subterraneous caves. 

With regard to the condition of the dead under the do- 
minion of Hades, the belief was that they led a shadowy sort 
of apparent life, in which, as mere reflections of their former 
selves, they continued as in a dream, at any rate without dis- 


tinct consciousness, to perform the labours and carry on the 
occupations to whicli they had been accustomed on earth. It 
was only to favoured individuals like the Theban seer, 
Teiresias, of whom we have more to say afterwards, that 
the privilege of complete consciousness was granted. Such 
was the sad condition of the dead ; and how they bore it may 
be guessed from the complaint of Achilles to Odysseus, in 
the Odyssey: " I would rather toil as a day-labourer on the 
earth than reign here a prince of dead multitudes. ' ' Occasion- 
ally the shades of the dead were permitted to appear to their 
friends on earth. It was also possible to summon them by a 
sacrifice, the blood of which, when they had drunk of it, 
restored consciousness and speech, so as to enable them to 
communicate with the living. 

We must, however, clearly distinguish between this under- 
world as the abiding place of the great mass of the dead, and 
two other regions where spirits of the departed were to be 
found, — the one Elysion (the Elysian Fields), with the 
islands of the blest, and the other Tartaros. The former 
region was most commonly placed in the remotest West, and 
the latter as far below the earth as the heavens are above it. 
In early times it appears to have been believed that Elysion 
and the happy islands were reserved less for the virtuous and 
good than for certain favourites of the gods. There, under 
the sovereignty of Kronos, they lived again a kind of second 
golden age of perpetual duration. But in later times there 
spread more and more the belief in a happy immortality re- 
served for all the good, and particularly for those who had 
been initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries (sec below). 
Tartaros, on the other hand, was the region where those 
were condemned to punishment who had committed any crime 


against the gods while on earth. What was the misery of 
their condition we shall be able to judge from the following 
account of a few of the best known of those condemned to 
such punishment, — asTantalos, Ixion, Sisyphos, Tityos, 
and the Dana'ides. 

Tantalos, once a king of Phrygia, had given offence to 
the gods by his overbearing and treachery, as well as by the 
cruelty which he had practised on his own son. For this he 
was doomed to Tartaros, and there to suffer from an unceasing 
dread of being crushed by a great rock that hung above his 
head, he the while standing up to the throat in water, yet 
possessed of a terrible thirst which he could never quench, 
and a gnawing hunger which he tried in vain to allay with the 
tempting fruits that hung over his head but withdrew at every 
approach he made. 

Ixion, once a sovereign of Thessaly, had, like Tantalos, 
outraged the gods, and was in consequence sentenced to Tar- 
taros, there to be lashed with serpents to a wheel which a 
strong wind drove continually round and round. 

Sisyphos, once king of Corinth, had by treachery and 
hostility incurred the anger of the gods in a high degree, and 
was punished in Tartaros by having to roll a huge stone up a 
height, which he had no sooner done, by means of his utmost 
exertion, than it rolled down again. 

Tityos, a giant who once lived in Eubcea, had misused his 
strength to outrage Leto (the mother of Apollo and Arte- 
mis'), and was condemned by Zeus to Tartaros, where two 
enormous vultures gnawed continually his liver, which always 
grew again. 

The Danaides, daughters of Danaos, king of Argos (of, 
whom see below), were sentenced to Tartaros for the murder 


of their husbands. The punishment prescribed for them was 
to carry water, and continue to pour it into a broken cistern 
or vase, the labour being all in vain, and going on for ever. 

Hades and Persephone, however, were not only rulers 
over the souls of the departed, but were also believed to exer- 
cise the function of judges of mankind after death. In this 
task they were assisted by three heroes who while on earth had 
been conspicuous for wisdom and justice, — Minos, Rhada- 
manthys, and ^akos, the last being also, apart from this, 
the gate-keeper of the lower region, according to a later 

Both among the Greeks and Romans the worship of Pluton- 
Hades was wide-spread, and the honours paid him great. In 
Greece his principal temples were at Pylos, Athens, and Olym- 
pia in Elis. The cypress, narcissus, and boxwood were sacred 
to him. In Rome a great festival was held in his honour in the 
month of February, at which sacrifices (^februationes) of black 
bulls and goats were offered, and the officiating priests wore 
wreaths of cypress, the whole ceremony extending over twelve 
nights. The Ssecular Games, which were held once in a 
century, were in his honour, and as a tribute to the dead. 

In works of art Hades is represented as having inherited the same type of 
face as his brothers Zeus and Poseidon, differing onl}^ in a certain grimness of 
expression. His hair shades his brow in heavy masses. In attitude he is 
either seated on a throne with Persephone by his side (as on plate vi.), or 
standing in a chariot and carrying her off. His attributes are a sceptre like 
that of Zeus, and a helmet, which, like the cloud cap of Siegfried in German 
mythology, made its v/earer invisible. His attendaht is the three-headed dog 
Cerberus. On the painted vases scenes of torment in Tartaros are not unfre- 
quent — such, for example, as the Danaides pouring water into the broken 
vase, or Ixion bound to the wheel, or Sisyphos pushing up the stone: Hcra- 
kles carrying off Cerberus, and Oq:)heus on his memorable visit to bring back 
Eurydikc, are also represented on the vases. 



(plate VI.,) 

Or Persephoneia, also called Kora by the Greeks, and 
by the Romans Libera, was a daughter of Zeus and De- 
meter, and the wife of Aides, the marriage being childless. 
Struck with the charms of her virgin beauty, Hades had ob- 
tained the sanction of his brother Zeus to carry her off by 
force ; and for this purpose, as the myth relates, he suddenly 
rose up from a dark hole in the earth near to where she was 
wandering in a flowery meadow not far from ^tna in Sicily, 
plucking and gathering the narcissus, seized the lovely flower- 
gatherer, and made ofl" with her to the under-world in a chariot 
drawn by four swift horses, Hermes leading the way. Perse- 
phone resisted, begged and implored gods and men to help 
her ; but Zeus approving the transaction let it pass. In vain 
Demeter searched for her daughter, traversing every land, or, 
as other myths say, pursuing the escaped Hades with her yoke 
of winged serpents, till she learned what had taken place from 
the all-seeing and all-hearing god of the sun. Then she en- 
treated with tears the gods to give her daughter back, and this 
they promised to do provided she had not as yet tasted of 
anything in the under-world. But by the time that Hermes, 
who had been sent by Zeus to ascertain this, reached the 
under-world, she had eaten the half of a pomegranate which 
Hades had given her as an expression of love. For this reason 
the return of Persephone to the upper world for good became 
impossible. She must remain the wife of Hades. An arrange- 
ment was however come to, by which she was to be allowed 
to stay with her mother half the year on earth and among the 


gods of Olympos, while the other half of the year was to be 
spent with her husband below. 

In this myth of Persephone-Kora, daughter of Zeus, the 
god of the heavens, which by their warmth and rain produce 
fertility, and of Demeter, the maternal goddess of the fertile 
earth, we see that she was conceived as a divine personification 
of the process of vegetation — in summer appearing beside her 
mother in the light of the upper world, but in the autumn dis- 
appearing, and in winter passing her time, like the seed, 
under the earth with the god of the lower world. The decay 
observed throughout Nature in autumn, the suspension of vege- 
tation in winter, impressed the ancients, as it impresses us and 
strikes modern poets, as a moral of the transitoriness of all 
earthly life ; and hence the carrying off of Persephone ap- 
peared to be simply a symbol of death. But the myth at the 
same time suggests hope, and proclaims the belief that out of 
death springs a new life, but apparently not a productive life, 
and that men carried off by the god of the under-world will not 
for ever remain in the unsubstantial region of the shades. This 
at least appears to have been the sense in which the myth of 
Persephone and her mother was presented to those initiated 
into the Eleusinian Mysteries, which, as we have remarked 
before, held out assuring hopes of the imperishableness of 
human existence, and of an eternal real life to follow after death. 

As queen of the shades Persephone had control over the vari- 
ous dreaded beings whose occupation, like that of the Sirens, 
was to beguile men to their death, or like that of the Erinys, 
to avenge murder and all base crimes. She shared the honours 
I)aid to her husband in Greece, lower Italy, and especially in 
the island of Sicily. Temples of great beauty were erected 
for her in the Greek Locri, and at Kyzikos on the Propontis. 


The principal festivals held in her honour in Greece occurred 
in the autumn or in spring, the visitors at the former appear- 
ing dressed in mourning to commemorate her being carried 
oiT by Pluto, while at the spring festival all wore holiday gar- 
ments to commemorate her return. 

There remains, however, the important phase of her charac- 
ter in which she returns to the upper world and is associated 
with her mother Demeter. But this it will be more conve- 
nient to consider in the next chapter. The attributes of Perse- 
phone were ears of com and poppies. Her attribute as the 
wife of Hades was a pomegranate ; her sacrifice consisted of 
cows and pigs. In works of art she has a more youthful ap- 
pearance, but otherwise closely resembles her mother Demeter. 
The Roman Proserpina, though the name is clearly the same 
as Persephone, appears to have had no hold on the religious 
belief of the Roman nation, their goddess of the shades being 
Libitina, or Lubentina. 


(plate VI.,) 

A daughter of Kronos and Rhea, was the goddess of the 
earth in its capacity of bringing forth countless fruits, the all- 
nourishing mother, and above all the divine being who watched 
over the growth of grain, and the various products of vegeta- 
tion most important to man. The first and grand thought in 
her worship was the mysterious evolution of life out of the 
seed which is cast into the ground and suffered to rot — a pro- 
cess of nature which both St. Paul (i Corinthians xv. 35) and 
St. John (xii. 24) compare with the attainment of a new life 
through Christ. The seed left to rot in the ground was in the 


keeping of her daughter Persephone, the goddess of the lower 
world, the new life which sprang from it was the gift of Deme- 
ter herself; and from this point of view the two goddesses, 
mother and daughter, were inseparable. They were regarded 
as "two in one," and styled "the great deities." 

From being conceived as the cause of growth in the grain 
Demeter next came to be looked on as having first introduced 
the art of agriculture, and as being the source of the wealth 
and blessings which attended the diligent practice of that art. 

When Hades carried off her young loved daughter, Demeter, 
with a mother's sorrow, lit her torch, and mounting her car 
drawn by winged snakes, drove through all lands searching 
for her, leaving, wherever she rested and was hospitably re- 
ceived, traces of her blessing in the form of instruction in the 
art of agriculture. But nowhere in Greece did her blessing 
descend so richly as in the district of Attica; for there Keleos, 
of Eleusis, a spot not far from Athens, had received her with 
most cordial hospitality. In return for this she taught him the 
use of the plough, and before departing presented to his son, 
Triptolemos, whom she had nursed, the seed of the barley 
along with her snake-drawn car, in order that he might tra- 
verse all lands, teaching by the way mankind how to sow and to 
utilize the grain, a task which Triptolemos performed faithfully, 
and so extended the art of agriculture to most distant lands. 

In Arcadia, Crete, and Samothrace we find her associated 
with a mythical hero called Jasion, reputed to have been the 
first sower of grain, to whom she bore a child, whose name of 
Plutos shows him to be a personification of the wealth de- 
rived from the cultivation of grain. In Thessaly there was a 
legend of her hostility to a hero sometimes called Erysich- 
ton, ' the earth upturncr ' or 'the ploughman,' and some- 


times Aethon, a i)ersonifiration of famine. Again we find a 
reference to her fiin< tion as goddess of agriculture in the story 
that once, when Poseidon threatened with his su])erior strength 
to mishandle her, Demeter took the form of a horse and fled 
from him; hut the god, taking the same shape, j)ursued and 
overtook her, the result being that she afterwards bore him 
Arion, a wonderful black horse of incredible speed, and 
gifted with intelligence and speech like a man. Pain and 
shame at the birth of such a creature drove her to hide for a 
long time in a rave, till at last she was purified by a bath in 
the river Ladon, and again appeared among the other 
deities. From the necessities of agriculture originated the 
custom of living in settled communities. It was Demeter 
who first inspired mankind with an interest in property and 
the ownershij) of land, who created the feeling of patriotism 
and the maintenance of law and order. 

The next phase of her character was that which came into 
prominence at harvest time, when the bare stubble fields re- 
minded her worshijjjjers of the loss of her daughter Perse- 
phone. At that time two kinds of festivals were held in her 
honour, the one kind called Haloa or Thalysia, being ap- 
parently mere harvest festivals, the other called Thesmo- 
phoria. Of the latter, as conducted in the village of Hali- 
mus in Attica, we know that it was held from the 9th to the 
13th of October each year, that it could only be participated 
in by married women, that at one stage of the proceedings 
Demeter was hailed as the mother of the beautiful child, and 
that this joy afterwards gave way to expressions of the deep- 
est grief at her loss of her daughter. At night orgies were 
held at which mysterious ceremonies were mixed with bois- 
terous amusements of all sorts. Tlie Thesmoi or * institu- 


tions ' from which she derived the title of Thesmophoros ap- 
pear to have referred to married life. 

We have no means of knowing to what extent the ancient 
Greeks based their belief in a happy existence hereafter on 
the mysterious evolution of life from the seed rotting in the 
ground, which the early Christians adopted as an illustration 
of the grand change to which they looked forward. But that 
the myth of the carrying off of Persephone, her gloomy exist- 
ence under the ground, and her cheerful return, originated in 
the contemplation of this natural process, is clear from the 
fact that at Eleusis Demeter and Persephone always retained 
the character of seed goddesses, side by side with their more 
conspicuous character as deities in whose story were reflected 
the various scenes through which those mortals would have to 
pass who were initiated into the Mysteries of Eleusis. 
These mysteries had been instituted by Demeter herself, and 
whatever rites they may have consisted in, we know from the 
testimony of men like Pindar and Aeschylos, who had been 
initiated, that they were w^ell calculated to awaken most pro- 
found feelings of piety and a cheerful hope of better life in 
future. It is believed that the ceremony of initiation con- 
sisted, not in instruction as to what to believe or how to act 
to be worthy of her favour, but in elaborate and prolonged 
representations of the various scenes and acts on earth and 
under it connected with the myth of the carrying off of Per- 
sephone. The ceremony took place at night, and it is pro- 
bable that advantage was taken of the darkness to make the 
scenes in the lower world more hideous and impressive. Pro- 
bably these representations were reserved for the Epoptae or 
persons in the final stage of initiation. Those in the earlier 
stages were called Mystae. Associated with Demeter and 


Persephone in the worsliip at Kleiisis was Dionysos in his 
youthful character and under the name of Jacchos. But at 
what time this first took place, whether it was due to some af- 
finity in the orgiastic nature of his worship, or rather to his 
local connection with Attica as god of the vine, is not known. 

Two festivals of this kind, Eleusinia, were held annually, 
— the lesser in spring, when the earliest flowers appeared, and 
the greater in the month of September. The latter occupied 
nine days, commencing on the night of the 20th with a torch- 
light procession. Though similar festivals existed in various 
parts of Greece and even of Italy, those of Eleusis in Attica 
continued to retain something like national importance, and 
from the immense concourse of people who came to take part 
in them, were among the principal attractions of Athens. The 
duties of high priest were vested in the family of Eumolpidae, 
whose ancestor Eumolpos, according to one account, had 
been installed in the office by Demeter herself. The festival 
was brought to a close by games, among which was that of 

In Italy a festival founded on the Eleusinian Mysteries and 
conducted in the Greek manner was held in honour of 
Bacchus and Ceres, or Liber and Libera as they were 
called. It appears, however, to have never commanded the 
same respect as the original. For we find Romans who had 
visited Greece, and like Cicero been initiated at Eleusis, re- 
turning with a strong desire to see the Eleusinian ceremonies 
transplanted to Rome. Altogether it is probable that the 
Roman Ceres was but a weak counterpart of the Greek 

The attributes of Demeter, like those of Persephone, were 
ears of corn and poppies ; on her head she wore a modius or 


corn measure as a symbol of the fertility of the earth. Her 
sacrifice consisted of cows and pigs. 

Statues that can positively be assigned to Demeter are very rare, the best by 
far being that found at Cnidus and now in the British Museum, which repre- 
sents her seated, draped, and with a veil falling from the back of her head. 
On her head is neither the modius nor the crown which she also wears some- 
times. On the painted vases, however, figures of her are less rare. On a vase 
in the British Museum she appears beside Triptolemos, who is seated in the 
winged car which she gave him. On another vase, also in the natioifal collec- 
tion, we find the scene at the institution of the Eleusinian Mysteries. In the 
centre is Triptolemos seated in the car ; before him Persephone (here called 
Pherophatta, a more ancient form of her name), and a figure called Eleusis; 
behind him Demeter and Eumolpos ; on the other side of the vase are Zeus, 
Dionysos, Poseidon, and Amphitrite. A marble relief, found at Eleusis, rep- 
resents, it is believed, Demeter, Persephone, and the youthful Jacchos, 


(plate VII.,) 

Though, properly speaking, not one of the supreme order of 
deities, is entitled to be placed here on account of a resem- 
blance to Persephone in her mysterious functions both in the 
upper and lower world. She is a goddess of Titanic origin, 
daughter of Tartaros and Night, or of Perses and Aste- 
ria (Starry-Night), the sister of Leto, according to other 
accounts. The stories current among the ancients concern- 
ing her vary greatly, and often confuse her with other deities, 
especially those of the night, such as Selene or Luna, the 
goddess of the moon, while standing to Persephone in the re- 
lation of servant or companion. She belongs to the class of 
torch-bearing deities, like Artemis, and was conceived as 
carrying a burning torch, to suit the belief that she was the 
nocturnal goddess of the moon, and a huntress who knew her 


Kuretes Keeping Guard over liii'aiit Zeus. 


way also in the realm of spirits. All the secret powers of 
Nature were at her command, it was thought. She had a 
control over birth, life, and death, and enjoyed great honour 
among the gods of Olympos as well as in the under-world. 
To express her power in the three regions of nature, heaven, 
earth, and the under-world, she was represented as of triple 
form, and named Triformis. Dogs were sacred to her. Her 
character being originally that of a mysterious deity, it hap- 
pened that more prominence was always given in the concep- 
tion of her to her gloomy and appalling features, her chief 
function being held to be that of goddess of the nether world, 
of night and darkness, mistress of all the witchcraft and black 
arts which were believed in as much in antiquity as in the 
middle ages. Accordingly her festivals were held at night, 
worship was paid her by torchlight, and sacrifices of black 
lambs presented with many strange ceremonies. Her presence 
was mostly felt at lonely cross-roads, whence she derived the 
name of Trivia. 

A mysterious festival was held in her honour every year in 
the island of ^gina, in the Saronic Gulf. Beside the lake of 
Avemus, in lower Italy, was a dark grove sacred to her. 


(plate VI.,) 

Sister of Demeter, and daughter of Kronos and Rhea, was 
worshipped both by Greeks and Rom.ans as the goddess of the 
home-fire, or hearth, the name of which was identical with her 
own. She was properly, therefore, the guardian of family 
life ; her altars were everywhere, the hearth of every house 
being her sanctuary, and when the family gathered round it 


daily it was with feelings of regard for that goddess. Every 
meal prepared on the fire at home revived a grateful sense of 
the common enjoyments of family life. In every building of 
public resort she had a sanctuary in the shape of a fire ; and 
when in Greece a body of colonists were about to emigrate to 
new and distant homes, one of their chief considerations was to 
take with them some portion of fire sacred to Hestia, in order 
to carry with them the favour of the goddess ; for the Greeks 
looked upon the state as a great family, with an altar of Hestia 
as its central point : and thus, by taking with them to their new 
homes a portion of the fire from that altar, or state hearth, the 
colony retained its interest and participation in the public 
affairs of their parent state. No enterprise was commenced 
without sacrifice and prayer at her altar ; and when the fire of 
one of those holy places chanced to be extinguished, it could 
only be rekindled by a light from some other sanctuary, not 
by ordinary and impure fire. 

As the goddess of a pure element, Hestia despised love, 
and, though pressed to consent both by Poseidon and 
Apollo, obtained from Zeus the privilege she prayed for, of 
remaining in a single state. Her spotless purity fitted her 
peculiarly to be the guardian of virgin modesty. 

Though zealously worshipped throughout Greece, there was 
no temple specially devoted to her. Her proper sanctuary was, 
as we have said, by the fire of every house where people gathered 
together. She had a share in all the sacrifices offered at the 
temples of other gods, and at every burnt-offering her presence 
was recognised as goddess of the sacred hearth and altar flame, 
as it was also in the libations of water, wine, and oil, and in 
the prayers addressed to her. At the same time she had her 
own peculiar sacrifices, consisting of young shoots of grain, 


the first-fruits of the harvest, an<l young cows. Her priestesses 
had to remain virgins. 

In Rome, however, there was a temple to Vesta that had 
been built by Numa Pompilius. It was of a round shape, 
and contained in its centre her symbol of an altar, with a fire 
that was never allowed to go out. This temple, which stood 
open by day but was closed by night, contained, besides other 
very old figures of deities, the Palladium, a small wooden 
image of Minerva (Pallas-Athene), which, according to the 
myth, originally fell from heaven upon the citadel of Troy, 
and was carried thence to Greece, and afterwards to Rome. 
Upon the preservation of this figure depended, the people 
believed, the safety and existence of the Roman empire. Her 
priestesses, six in number, were called vestal virgins, their 
duty being to feed the sacred flame of her temple, and to 
present sacrifices and prayers for the welfare of the state. To 
this office they were chosen by the high-priest, who was styled 
Pontifex maximus. They wore robes of white, with a fillet 
round the hair, and a veil, additional ornaments being per- 
mitted in later times. It was necessary that the girls selected 
for this service should be between six and ten years of age, 
and that they should take a vow of chastity, and serve in the 
temple for thirty years. After that ])eriod they were per- 
mitted to leave it, and even to marry, though neither proceed- 
ing was viewed with pleasure by the public, who feared the 
goddess to whom they had been devoted might take offence 
in either case. While engaged in the services of the temple 
the vestal virgins enjoyed great esteem and important privi- 
leges. Their person was inviolable, they were free from 
paternal control, and had the right of disposing of their own 
property. In their festal processions through the streets of 


Rome they were preceded by lictors (or officers of justice), 
who carried with them the fasces^ that is, a number of twigs 
tied together into a bundle, out of which an axe projected as 
a symbol of sovereign power, — ^an honour which, besides them, 
only the consuls or highest magistrates of Rome were entitled 
to. And in the course of the procession, should they meet a 
criminal on his way to expiate his crime by death, they had 
the prerogative of ordering him to be set free. 

With all this respect and esteem, they were very severely 
dealt with when guilty of neglect of duty, such as permitting 
the sacred flame of the altar of Vesta to die out, which 
could only be rekindled by means of a burning glass held 
up to the rays of the sun. A priestess guilty of this was 
condemned by the high-priest of the goddess to a dark 
chamber, and there flogged. For the crime of forfeiting her 
chastity she was conveyed to a place called the Campus 
Sceleratus, or '' criminals' field," and there placed in a sub- 
terranean chamber provided with a bed, a lighted lamp, and 
some bread and water. The chamber was then closed upon 
her, the earth thrown over it and made smooth, and the 
unfortunate priestess left to die a most agonizing death. Her 
seducer was publicly scourged to death. The whole city was 
sorrowful, and sacrifice and long earnest prayers were offered 
up to appease the injured goddess. The procession, in which 
the condemned priestess was carried to her crypt, tied down 
on a litter, and so closely covered up that even her screams 
could not be heard, was a spectacle that raised a shudder, and 
caused that day to be remembered as one of the greatest pain 
and grief throughout the city. 

At first there were only two vestal virgins, this number 
being afterwards increased to four, and again by King Servius 


to six. They were chosen always from the noblest families 
of Rome. If the legend concerning the foundation of the 
city of Rome be true, even Romulus and Remus, the 
founders of that city, were sons of a vestal priestess named 
Rhea Sylvia and Mars. 

The sacred fire on the hearth of the goddess, and the laurel 
that shaded it, were renewed on the ist of March of each 
year; on the 15th of June her temple was cleaned and re- 
paired. But previous to this, on the 9th of June, a festival 
was held in her honour, called the Vestalia, only women 
being admitted to the temple, and these barefooted, and in the 
character of pilgrims. 


(plates VIII. AND XXVIII.,) 

A son of Zeus and Hera, according to the belief of the 
Greeks, was originally god of the storm and tempest, and 
more particularly of the hurricane ; but this his natural mean- 
ing was lost sight of at an earlier period, and more completely 
than in the case of most of the other gods, the character in 
which he appears to us being exclusively that of '' god of the 
turmoil and storms in human affairs," in other words, " god 
of dreadful war," or more correctly, " of the wild confusion 
and strife of battle." Of all the upper gods he was the most 
fierce and terrible, taking pleasure in slaughter and massacre. 
In this respect he forms a striking contrast to Pallas- 
Athene, the goddess of well-matched chivalrous fights, whom 
we often find opi)osed to him in mythical narratives. When 
fighting she was invulnerable, and always on the side of the 
victor; while Ares being not only god of battle but also a per- 


sonification of war, with its double issue of victory and defeat, 
was sometimes wounded, and even taken prisoner. When 
assisting the Trojans in their war with the Greeks, in the 
course of which he took under his special protection their 
leader, Hector, he was wounded by the Greek hero Diome- 
des, aided by the goddess Athene. He fell — so Homer 
describes the event in the Iliad (v. 853) — ^with a thundering 
crash to the ground, like the noise of nine or ten thousand 
warriors engaged in battle. Again (Iliad xxi. 400) he was 
wounded by Athene and fell, his armour clanking, and his 
body covering with his fall seven acres of ground, — an ob- 
vious reference to the roar and destruction attending a 
great storm. He was once captured by Otos and Ephialtes, 
the giant sons of Aloeus the planter, and kept imprisoned 
in a great bronze vase (Iliad v. 385) for thirteen months — a 
space of time which, when we remember that the names of 
the two heroes are derived from husbandry, seems to indicate 
a full year of peaceful agriculture. Like himself, his offspring 
were distinguished for their prowess or delight in strife ; as, 
for example, Meleager, the prince of Kalydon, who speared 
the Kalydonian boar (see below) ; Kyknos, whom Herakles 
slew, and for this would have been avenged by Ares had not 
Zeus stopped the conflict of his two powerful sons by a flash of 
lightning; then ParthenSpaeos, one of the seven leaders in 
the assault on the town of Thebes (see below) ; Oenomseos, 
and others. The expression, '^ a son or offshoot of Ares," 
frequently applied to other heroes, must not be understood 
literally, but merely as indicating physical strength and valour, 
equal to that of his actual descendants. 

Eris, the personification of fatal strife, was usually by his 
side, Dread and Alarm (Deimos and Phobos) attended on his 


Steps. On the otlicr hand wc find him, even in the Iliad {y. 
355 and xxi. 416), where his general character is that of a 
huge fierce combatant, associated with Aphrodite, the goddess 
of love. In the Odyssey (viii. 266) the story is told of his 
secret visit to her, when he was detected by Helios, who in- 
formed Hepha:stos of the fact, whereupon the latter devised a 
cunning net, and catching the two together under it exhibited 
them to the gods of Olympos, and called upon Zeus to bring 
them to trial. This relation of Ares to Aphrodite, who was 
even worshipped as his proper wife in Thebes, indicates very 
probably the peace and rest that follow the turmoil of war. 

It is true that Ares was worshipped in Greece, but not as a 
great protecting deity, such as he was deemed by the Romans. 
In Athens the Areopagos, or ''Mars' Hill," on which was 
held a court of justice for the decision of cases involving life 
and death, derived its name from him, the story being that he 
had once appeared before it in a cause against Poseidon. The 
warlike people of Tegea, the Spartans, who had a very ancient 
temple in his honour, the Athenians, for whom Alkamenes the 
sculptor, a contemporary and rival of Pheidias, made a statue 
of him, and the Eleans, all worshipped him with more or less 
zeal. But the real home and centre of his worship was Thrace, 
with its wild warlike population and its stormy tempestuous 
sky. It was in Rome, however, with its conquests and pride 
of military power, that he enjoyed under the name of Mars 
the highest honour, ranking next to Jupiter as guardian of 
the state. The Romans considered themselves to be actual 
descendants of Mars, on the ground of his having been, as 
was believed, the father of Romulus and Remus, styling him 
Marspiter, that is, INIars Pater, their fother Mars. At Reate, 
in Italy, he had even an oracle. In Rome there was a field 


consecrated to him, and named the ''Field of Mars/' where 
military exercises and manoeuvres took place, athletic compe- 
titions, called "martial games," were held, and public assem- 
blies were summoned to consider important questions of the 
state. The race course and the temples of the god were there ; 
and there every four years were held the census and muster of 
citizens liable to be called into the field in the event of war. 
On this occasion a sacrifice was presented to him, consisting 
of a bull, a ram, and a goat, which, before being slain, were 
led three times round the assembled crowd, while during the 
ceremony a prayer was offered up that the immortal gods 
might still enlarge and ennoble the Roman empire more and 
more, or as it was expressed in later times, that they might 
give stability and endurance to the Roman state. Chariot - 
races were held there twice a year, at the beginning of March 
and in October ; the ceremony of sacrificing to Mars the oif- 
horse of the biga that won the race — the October horse as it 
was called — being performed at the latter. In the " Field of 
Mars ' ' was dedicated the booty brought back from campaigns, 
and no Roman general went to war without first proceeding 
to the temple of Mars, to swing the sacred shield and spear, 
adding the words, ''Watch over us, O Mars!" This shield 
(ancile) was believed to have fallen from heaven at the time 
when Numa Pompilius was king of Rome, and, like the Palla- 
dium in the temple of Vesta, was looked on with veneration. 
Both it and a sacred spear were preserved in the temple of 
Mars, under the custody of priests, who were called Salii, and 
whose duty it was every year to celebrate a festival of thanks- 
giving for this important present from the gods. In the ear- 
liest times the sacrifices offered to Mars consisted of human 
beings, particularly those who had been taken prisoners in 




ffOB£/!rssc " ^Ln- 

Hephsestos, or Vulcan 

Ares, or Mars. Aphrodite, or Venus. 


battle ; but in later times this custom was abandoned, and 
horses, rams, dogs, and a portion of the booty captured from 
enemies, offered instead. Besides these animals, the wolf, 
cock, and woodpecker were sacred to him. 

The attributes of Ares were a spear and a burning torch, 
such as, according to ancient custom, his priests carried when 
they advanced to give the sign of battle to opposing armies. 
The animals chosen as his symbols were the dog and the 
vulture, the constant visitants of battle-fields. 

In works of art Ares is represented generally as of a youthful but very pow- 
erful build, armed with helmet, shield, and spear. At other times he is bearded 
and heavily armed, A favourite subject was his meeting with Aphrodite, as 
on plate xxviii. 


(plate viil,) 

Was the divine personification of the fire that bums within the 
earth and bursts forth in volcanic eruptions — fire which has 
no connection with the sun or the lightning of heaven ; and 
such being his cliaracter, we can readily understand the 
mutual dislike which existed between him and the god of the 
light of heaven. He was indeed the son of Zeus and Hera, 
the supreme deities of heaven ; but he was born to be a cause 
of quarrel between them, and alternately at enmity with both. 
Once, when he took his mother's part, Zeus seized him by the 
heels and tossed him out of Olympos (Iliad i. 560). Through 
the air he fell for one whole day; at evening, as the sun went 
down, reaching the island of Lemnos, where he was found by 
some Sintian people, and taken under friendly care. The 
place where he was found, and where in after times was the 


principal centre of his worship, was the neighbourhood of the 
burning mountain Mosychlos. 

Another version of the myth has it that Hera, ashamed of 
the decrepit form which he presented at his birth, threw him 
with her own hands from Olympos. Falling into the sea, he 
was picked up by Thetis and Eurynome, was cared for by 
them, remained for nine years in the abode of the sea-gods, 
none but they knowing his whereabouts, and executed there 
many wonderfully clever examples of handiwork. It may be 
that this belief originated in observing the nearness of volcanic 
mountains to the sea-shore, and the fact of whole islands, like 
the modern Santorin, being suddenly thrown up from the sea 
by volcanic force. Among the works which he fashioned in 
the palace of the sea-gods was a cunningly devised throne, 
which he presented to Hera, as a punishment for casting him 
out of heaven, knowing that when she sat down on it she 
would be locked within its secret chains so firmly that no 
power but his could free her. This happened, and Ares went 
to bring him by force to her assistance, but was compelled to 
retreat in fear of the fire brand with which Hephaestos assailed 
him. At last Dionysos, the god of wine, succeeded by his 
soft conciliatory speech in restoring friendship between mother 
and son, and her bonds were forthwith undone. Perhaps it 
is from this intimacy with Dionysos that he is said to have 
once appeared as cup-bearer in Olympos, on which occasion 
the assembled deities could not contain themselves with 
laughter at the droll figure limping from couch to couch. It 
seems to be the unsteady flicker of flame that is represented 
in the lameness of the fire-god, and it may have been the 
genial influence of the hearth which was the source of the 
quaint stories about him. 


From being originally god of fire, Hci)hacstos naturally de- 
veloped into god of those arts and industries dependent on 
fire, especially the arts of pottery and working in metal. He 
was the artist god who worked in a smoky smithy down in the 
heart of burning mountains, and produced clever works of 
dazzling beauty, which he gave freely away to gods and to 
favourite heroes. For Zeus he made the dreaded segis and a 
sceptre; for Achilles and Memnon their armour; for him- 
self two wonderful handmaidens of gold, who, like living 
beings, would move about and assist him as he walked ; and 
when Homer has to describe any bronze work of great beauty, 
his highest praise is always that it was the work of Hephaestos. 
The throne which he made for Hera, and the net in which he 
caught Aphrodite and Ares, have already been mentioned. 

From being god of the warmth within the earth — of vol- 
canic fire, Hephaestos came also, when the fertility of a vol- 
canic soil became known by experience, to be looked on as 
one who aided the spread of vegetation, this function of his 
being recognized most in the spread of the vine, which thrives 
and bears its best fruit on volcanic soil. It was from know- 
ledge of this fact, no doubt, that the idea arose of the close 
friendship between him and the wine-god Dionysos, which 
we find exemplified partly in the joint worship of these two 
deities, and partly in the story already told, of how Dionysos 
led Hephaestos back to Olympos, and smoothed his differ- 
ences with the other gods. 

His worship was traceable back to the earliest times, 
Lemnos being always the place most sacred to him. There, 
at the foot of the burning mountain Mosychlos, which is now 
extinct, stood a very ancient temple of the god — on the very 
spot, it was said, v/here Prometheus stole the heavenly fire, 


and for the theft was taken away among the Caucasus moun- 
tains, there nailed alive to a rock by Hephaestos, and com- 
pelled to suffer every day an eagle sent by Zeus to gnaw his 
liver, which daily grew afresh. A somewhat gloomy cere- 
mony of expiating this theft of fire took place annually in the 
island, all fires being put out, and forbidden to be relit until 
the return of the ship that had been despatched to the sacred 
island of Delos to fetch new fire. Then, after being nine 
days extinguished, all the fires in dwelling-houses and in 
work-shops were rekindled by the new flame. 

Next to Lemnos, perhaps the most important seat of his 
worship was Athens, where the unusually large number of 
persons employed in the potteries and in metal-working recog- 
nized him as their patron god, and associating him with 
Athene, held annually in October a festival called Chalkeia, 
in honour of both. In the same month occurred the festival 
Apaturia, at which, by the side of Zeus and Athene a pro- 
minent place was assigned to Hephaestos in his capacity of 
god of the hearth, and protector of the domestic life which 
gathered round it. On this occasion sacrifices were offered 
at the hearth, and a public procession took place of men clad 
in festival garments, carrying lighted torches and singing 
songs in his praise. Again, the torch race, which formed part 
of the Panathenaic games, was intended to commemorate the 
theft of fire by Prometheus. In connection with this com- 
munity of worship) existing between Athene and Hephaestos 
at Athens, it was said that he once endeavoured to obtain the 
love of tlie goddess, and that even though this failed she had 
devoted special care to Erichthonios, the offspring of his in- 
tercourse with Gaea, the goddess of the earth. 

In Sicily Hephaestos had a temple on Mount Etna, which 


was watched by dogs possessed of the faculty of distinguishing 
the pious from the impious and profane, whose approach they 
fiercely resisted. His worship had also spread to lower Italy 
and the Campania. 

In Rome it was said that Vulcan had a temple as early as 
the time of Romulus, who, in fact, caused it to be erected, 
and instituted the festival called Vulcanalia, which was wont 
to be held on the 23d of August, the ceremony consisting of 
a sacrifice for the purpose of averting all the mishaps tliat 
arise from the use of fire and lights ; for the days were then 
beginning to be noticeably shorter, and the necessity of light 
to work by in the evenings to be felt. 

The wife of Hephaestos, according to the Iliad, was 
Charis, but the popular belief of later times assigned that 
place to Aphrodite. By neither had he any children. 

In works of art Hephaestos is represented as an aged bearded man, with 
serious furrowed face, wearing a short chiton or exomis and a pointed cap or 
jiilos, the mark of workmen or fishermen (which Odysseus also wears), ham- 
mering at an anvil, his attitude showing the lameness of which the myth 
speaks. On the early coins of Lemnos he appears without a beard. One of 
the favourite subjects both of poets and artists was the story of his catchmg 
Hera in tlie throne which he gave her, the ludicrousness of it making it an 
attractive subject for the ancient comedy. On a painted vase in the British 
Museum is a scene from a comedy in which Hera appears seated on the 
throne, while Ares and Hephaestos are engaged in combat before her. Another 
scene which frequently occurs on the painted vases is that in which Hephaestos 
appears on his way back to Olympos in a state of intoxication, riding on a 
mule, or walking, and accompanied by Dionysos, Sileni, and njonphs. At the 
birth of Athene it was he who split open the head of Zeus to let the goddess 
come forth, and in the frequent representations of this scene on the vases he 
appears hammer in hand. At other times we find him fashioning the armour 
of Achilles or fastening Prometheus to the rock. 



(plates VIII., IX., AND XXVIII.,) 

Was the goddess of love in that wide sense of the word which 
in early times embraced also the love of animals, and the love 
which was thought to be the cause of productiveness through- 
out nature. Accordingly we find in her character, side by 
side with what is beautiful and noble, much that is coarse and 
unworthy. In the best times of Greece the refined and 
beautiful features of her worship were kept in prominence, 
both in poetry and art ; but these, when times of luxury suc- 
ceeded, had to give way to impurities of many kinds. 

The feelings awakened by observing the productive power 
of nature had, it would seem, given rise to a divine personifi- 
cation of love in very remote early times among the nations 
of the East. The Phoenicians called this personification As- 
tart e, and carried her worship with them wherever they es- 
tablished factories or markets in Greece, in the islands of the 
Mediterranean, and on to Italy. The early Greeks coming 
in contact with these traders, and obtaining from them a 
knowledge of coinage, weights, measures, and other necessa- 
ries of commerce and trade — including, it is said, a system 
of writing — appear to have transferred some of the functions 
of the oriental goddess to their own Aphrodite, as, for in- 
stance, the function of protecting commerce. The earliest 
known Greek coins — those of ^gina — the weights of which 
correspond accurately with the oriental standard, have the 
figure of a tortoise, the well-known symbol of Aphrodite. 

How much else of the character of their goddess the Greeks 
may have derived from the Phoenicians it would be impossi- 


ble to say. But the extraordinary zeal with \vhi( h she con- 
tinued to be worshipped in Cyprus, Cytherea, Corinth, Car- 
thage, Sicily, and wherever in early times the Phcenicians had 
made settlements, may signify that others of her functions 
besides that of protecting commerce had been borrowed from 
the oriental goddess. The older Aphrodite worshipped in 
Greece previous to the introduction of Phoenician elements in 
her character is described as a daughter of Zeus (Iliad v. 
312) and Dione, and through her mother was associated with 
the ancient worship at Dodona. 

The younger goddess, on the other hand, is described 
(Hesiod, Theogony, 188-206) as the offspring of Uranos, 
born among the foam of the sea, first stepping on land in 
Cyprus, and styled Anadyomene, or "she who came out of 
the sea." Under the title of Urania she was regarded as a 
personification of that power of love which was thought to 
unite heaven, earth, and sea into one harmonious system, and 
as such was distinguished from Aphrodite Pandemos, the 
personification of love among men. As the goddess born of 
the foam of the sea, she naturally came to be held in venera- 
tion by the fishermen and sailors on the coast as the goddess 
of the smiling sea, and the cause of prosperous voyages. 
Hence it was the custom in the island of -^gina to follow up 
the sacrifice and banquet in honour of Poseidon with a festival 
of great rejoicing and excitement in honour of Aphrodite. 
In Knidos she was styled and worshipped as goddess of the 
peaceful sea ; a character which is symbolized by the dolphin 
frequently given her as an attribute. The island of Cytherea 
(Cerigo) derived its name from one of her titles, Cythere, 
the belief being that she had appeared there before landing 
on Cyprus. 


The earlier and pure Greek phase of her character, in which 
she is called a daughter of Zeus and Dione, was that of a 
goddess who presides over human love ; she is described as 
accompanied by her son Eros (Amor or Cupid), the Cha- 
rites (Graces), the Horae, Himeros (God of the desire of 
love), Pothos (God of the anxieties of love), and Peitho 
(Suadela, or the soft speech of love). But her special favour- 
ite was the young rosy shepherd Adonis ; her grief at his 
death, which was caused by a wild boar, being so great that 
she would not allow the lifeless body to be taken from her 
arms until the gods consoled her by decreeing that her lover 
might continue to live half the year, during the spring and 
summer, on the earth, while she might spend the other half 
with him in the lov/er world, beside Persephone (Proser- 
pina) ; a reference to the change of seasons, which finds its 
explanation in the fact of Aphrodite being also goddess of gar- 
dens and flowers. Her presence in nature was felt in spring, 
her absence in winter. This change of the seasons was further 
observed and celebrated by a festival in honour of Adonis, in 
the course of which a figure of him was produced, and the 
ceremony of burial, with weeping and songs of wailing, gone 
through; after which a joyful shout was raised, " Adonis lives, 
and is risen again ! ' ' She was called Adonaia and Adonias , 
with reference to this love passage. Next to him her chief 
favourite was Anchises, to whom she bore /Eneas, who 
through his son Ascanius, or Julius, became, as story goes, 
the founder of the great Julian family in Rome. With regard 
to the story of Pygmalion, the Adonis of Cyprus, into 
whose statue of her she breathed life on the occasion of one 
of her festivals, perhaps the same meaning is intended to be 
conveyed as in the alternate life and death of Adonis — that is. 


the alternate fervour and coldness of love, or the alternate 
bloom and frost of nature. 

The husband of Aphrodite was Ilci>haestos (Vulcan), whose 
manner of punishing her when he found her in the com})any 
of Ares has already been related. Among her children, but 
not by Hephaestos, were Eros (Amor), and Anteros, 
Hymen, and Hermaphroditus. 

But if she had favours for some she had strong antipathies 
for others, and proved this spirit on Hippolytos, whom she 
slew; on Polyphonte, whom she changed into an owl; on 
Arsinoe whom she turned to stone; and Myrrha, whom she 
transformed into a myrtle tree. Of her strife and competi- 
tion with Hera and Athene for the prize of beauty, which the 
Trojan prince, Paris, awarded to her, we shall give an account 
later on, in connection with the narrative of the Trojan war. 

As a result of her power to unite by means of love all 
beings, whether in heaven, or earth, or in blackest Tartaros, 
she came to be viewed as a goddess presiding over married 
life and marriage ceremonies. She had a number of temples 
in the island of Cyprus, but none of them so splendidly deco- 
rated as that in the town of Paphos, whither thousands of 
visitors streamed to take part in the annual festival and 
rejoicings in her honour. There also she had an oracle, and, 
as Urania, was worshipped jointly with Ares (Mars); the 
latter fact showing that her connection with this god was 
founded in the religious belief of the people. At times, and 
particularly in her very ancient sanctuary in the island of 
Cythere, as also in Sparta, Argos, and on the Acropolis 
of Corinth, she was represented armed. 

The worship of Venus did not become general in Rome 
till later times. A festival, called Veneralia, was held in 


her honour every year, a great part of the ceremony consisting 
of nocturna]' dances and passionate enjoyment in gardens and 
among blooming arbours. She had a temple on the Capitol, 
and one of the Colline gates was consecrated to her. The 
month of April was held sacred to her, for then the flowers 
bud and plants shoot; or, as the Greek myth expresses it, 
Adonis comes back from the under-world. 

The symbols of Aphrodite were the dove, ram, hare, 
dolphin, swan, and tortoise, with the rose as a flower, the 
myrtle tree, and other beautiful plants, the apple, and fruits 
of various kinds. 

In Paphos the earliest form or image under which she was worshipped was 
that of a ball or a pyramid, surrounded with burning torches or candelabra, as 
is to be seen on the coins of Cyprus ; but gradually, as art advanced, she took 
a finer form, fresh charms being continually added, till all the resources of 
expressing imperious overpowering beauty were exhausted. In the best days 
of art she was always represented draped, in later times nude, and in various 
attitudes. The scene of her birth from the sea was represented by Pheidias, 
on the base of the statue of Zeus at Olympia, as taking place in presence of 
the gods of Olympos, she being received first by Eros, who elsewhere is called 
her son. One of the most famous pictures of Apelles represented her as rising 
out of the sea. To indicate her connection with Ares she was represented as 
Venus Victrix, standing with one foot on a helmet and with both arms raising 
a shield. Of this type are the Venus of Capua and the Venus of Milo. In a 
temple erected to her as Euploia or goddess of prosperous voyages, in Knidos, 
was a statue of her by Praxiteles, which was celebrated above all her other 
statues in ancient times; and of which the so-called Medicean Venus is 
believed to be a free copy. 


(plates XI. AND XII.,) 

Called also Tritogeneia or Tritonia and Athenaea, is 

usually described, in the myths concerning her birth, as having 


Pallas-Athene, or Minerva. 


Helios, or Sol. 


sprung into life, fully armed, from the head of Zeus, with its 
thick black locks, all heaven and e4rth shaking meanwhile, the 
sea tossing in great billows, and the light of day being extin- 
guished. Zeus, it was said, had previously swallowed his wife 
Metis (Intelligence), to prevent her giving birth to a son. The 
operation of laying his head open, that Pallas might come forth, 
was performed by Hephsestos (Vulcan), or, according to 
other versions of the story, Prometheus. There is, however, 
another myth, which ascribes her origin to a connection of 
Poseidon (Neptune) with the nymph Tritonis, adding that 
Zeus merely adopted her as his daughter. But this seems to 
have had no foundation in the general belief of the people, 
and to have been only an invention of later times, when her 
name, Tritogeneia, or Tritonia, had become unintelligible. 

No being connected with the earth, whether deity or mortal, 
had a part in her birth. She was altogether the issue only of 
her father, the god of heaven, who, as the myth very plainly 
characterizes it, brought her into being out of the black tem- 
pest-cloud, and amidst the roar and crash of a storm. Her 
character must therefore be regarded as forming in some way 
a complement to his. The purpose for which she was brought 
into existence must have been that she might do what he would 
plan, but as the supreme and impartial god, could not carry 
out. She is at once fearful and powerful as a storm, and in 
turn, gentle and pure as the warmth of the sky when a storm 
has sunk to rest and an air of new life moves over the fresh- 
ened fields. 

To express both these sides of her character — terrible and 
mighty as compared with open, gentle, and pure — she had the 
double name of Pallas-Athene : the former was applied to 
her function of goddess of storms — she who carried the aegis 


or storru-sliicld of lier Ailhcr. And further, as i'alhis, she 
became llie goddess of ];aUle — valiant, conquering, frigliten- 
ing with the siglit of her xgis whole crowds of heroes when 
they vexed her, and even driving Ares before her with lier 
lightning spear. At tlie same time the soft, gentle, and 
heavenly side of lier character took from her functions, as 
goddess of battle, that desire of c:on fused slaughter and mas- 
sacre wliic 1) distinguished Ares, and frjrinc*! the c;oiitrast we 
liavc already mentioned between the two deities of war. Pal- 
las presides over battles, but only to lead on to victory, and 
through victory, to j>eace and ])ros);( rily. 

When the war has been fought out, and that peace estab- 
lished which — whether it Ije amid the j)olitical life of nations 
here on enrth, or whether it bentnid the jjassions of individual 
men — is always the result of conflict and war, then it is that 
the goddess Athene reigns in all gentleness and purity, teach- 
ing mankind to enjoy i)eace, and instructing them in all that 
gives beauty lo human life, in wisdom and art. If we observe 
and keepc;learly before our minds these two sides of her char- 
acter, the inseparable union of both, and their arlion and re- 
action ui)(;n ea< h (;ther, we shall see that this godfless, Pallas- 
Athene, is one (;f the most profound conceptic^ns of a deej) 
religi(;us feeling — a being into whose hands the j>ioi]s (iieek 
could, with due reverence, commit his keeping. 

The mutual relation of these two sides of her < haracter is 
sufficiently obvious in the various myths relating to the god- 
dess. The princi])al of these we shall ])roceed to narrate. 
])\\\, first, we must ( all attention to this point, that Athene is 
rejiresented in the myths as for ever remaining a virgin, s( orn- 
ing the affectir;ns which are said to have been frequently 
offered to her. Instead of suggesting her liability, in the 


siiKillcsl (K'L^ivc, to cartlil}' j);issions and foihlos, the myth 
sliows aihnirably that slic was a divine pcrsonifKation of mind, 
always unfettered in its movements; a personification, at tlie 
same time, of the origin of mind from the brain of the su- 
preme Divine Being: a proof tliat mind is neitlier of a male 
nor of a female order, but a single and independent power at 
work throughout the whole of nature. 

In the course of the war with the Giants Pallas rendered 
most valuable assistance to Zeus, both by advice and deed ; 
being, in fact, the cause of his calling in the aid of Hera- 
kles, and thus completing successfully the subjugation of the 
rebels. Single-handed she overi)owcred the terrible giant 
Enkelados ; but when Zeus' rule was at List firmly estab- 
lished, she took up the tiisk of assisting and protecting those 
heroes on earth she found engaged in destroying the 
grim creatures and monsters ui)on it. In this capacity she 
was the constant friend of Herakles in all his hardships and 
adventures (see below), and of Perseus, whom she helped 
to slay the Gorgon Medusa, whose head she afterwards wore 
upon her iX^gis, and for this re;ison obtained the name of Gor- 
gophone, or Gorgon slayer. Along with Hera she protected 
the Argonauts, while to her assistance was due the success 
with winch Theseus (see below) overcame and slew monsters 
of all kinds. She stood by the Greeks in their war against 
Troy, which we shall describe afterwards, and devised the 
scheme by whicli, after ten years' duration, it w:ls brought to 
a close. 

But, in times of peace, her power as goddess in all kinds 
of skill and handicraft, of clearness like that of the sky, and 
of mental a( tivity, w;is uniformly exercised, as ha^ been said, 
for the general good and prosperity. The arts of spinning 


and weaving were described as of her invention. She taught 
how to tend and nurse newly-born infants ; and even the heal- 
ing art was traced back to her among other gods. The flute, 
too, was her invention. As became the goddess of war, it 
was her duty to instruct men in the art of taming horses, of 
bridling and yoking them to the war-chariot — a task which we 
find her performing in the story of Bellerophon, for whom 
she bridled the winged horse Pegasosj and in the story of 
Erichthonios, at Athens, the first mortal who learned from 
her how to harness horses to chariots. In a word, she was the 
protectress of all persons employed in art and industry, of 
those whose business it was on earth to instruct and educate 
mankind, and therefore to help forward the general happiness. 
The principal scene of her influence and actions was Attica, 
that district of Greece which, according to the myth related 
above, she obtained as her special and peculiar province, after 
a contest for it with Poseidon, the god of the sea. There 
her worship and honour surpassed that of all other deities, and 
from her was named the chief town of the land. The visible 
proof and testimony of her guardianship of Attica was the 
olive on the Acropolis of Athens, which she created in the 
contest with Poseidon, and from which the Athenians be- 
lieved all the olive trees of Attica to have spread. In the 
produce of the olives consisted the chief wealth of the land. 
Ancient writers relate a touching story concerning this olive 
tree on the Acropolis, which reveals how firmly the belief of 
their goddess was rooted in the minds of her people. When 
the Persians advanced with their overwhelming forces against 
Greece, it is said that Athene presented herself at the throne 
of her father, and begged for the preservation of her city. But 
fate had otherwise decreed : Athens must perish, in order that 


a better and nobler city might rise from its ruins, and accor- 
dingly Zeus was obliged to refuse the prayer of his beloved 
daughter. The Athenians took to their fleet, abandoning al- 
together the city, which the Persians then entered, and de- 
stroyed utterly with fire and sword, not even sparing the sacred 
olive of the goddess. But, lo ! as a sign that she had not for- 
saken her city even in ruins, there sprang suddenly from 
the root which remained a new shoot, which, with wonderful 
quickness, grew to a length of three yards, and was looked on 
as an emblem of the regeneration of the city. With the aid 
of their goddess the Athenians fought foremost of all the Greeks 
in the famous sea-fight that ensued at Salamis, in which the 
Persian fleet, though vastly superior in numbers, was wholly 
destroyed, while the troops on the mainland were compelled 
to escape with shame and immense losses from Greece. 

Among the great variety of her titles, some derived from 
her functions as a goddess, and others from the localities where 
her worship had a special hold on the people, we find Athene 
at Elis styled ** mother," in consequence of her care over the 
nursing of children ; in Athens and several other places, 
Polias, the *' protectress of cities" ; Soteira, the " saviour" ; 
Glaukopis, "blue-eyed goddess"; Parthenos, " the vir- 
gin " ; Hippia, '' tamer of horses " ; Ergane, ''mistress of 
industry", Nike, the ''victorious"; and Mechanitis, 
** ingenious." Every year a festival lasting several days, and 
called Panathenaea, was held in her honour at Athens, to 
commemorate the part she had taken in the war against the 
Giants : every fourth year — that is, every third year of the 
current Olympiad — it was celebrated with redoubled splen- 
dour. This festival is said to have been instituted by Theseus, 
or at least to have first derived its importance from him ; in 


any case it was a festival of very great antiquity. Festal pro- 
cessions were formed, athletic games were held, while sacrifices 
and banquets took place on a large scale — all the Athenians, 
whether at home or abroad in colonies, having the privilege 
of taking part. The prizes in the games consisted of large 
painted earthenware vases filled with pure olive oil, the pro- 
duct of the tree sacred to Athene.- Of these vases a small 
number have been preserved down to our times. On one side 
is painted a figure of the goddess striding forward in the atti- 
tude of hurling her spear, with a column on each side of her, 
to indicate the race course. On the reverse side is a view of 
the contest in which a particular vase was won. But perhaps 
the chief attraction of the festival was the procession in which 
a new robe or peplos, woven and embroidered for the goddess 
by a select number of women and girls in Athens, was carried 
through the town spread like a sail on a mast, placed on a 
wagon in the form of a ship. In this procession it appears 
as if the whole population of Attica took part, the youth of 
the nobility on horseback or in chariots, the soldiery in arms, 
and the burgesses with their wives and daughters in holiday 
attire. The new robe was destined for the very ancient statue 
of Athene which was preserved in the Erechtheum. This 
custom of placing actual drapery on statues appears to have 
been handed down from remote times, when the art of sculp- 
ture was unequal to the task of imitating the human figure, 
and it is not improbable that the statue of Athene, of which 
we are speaking, dated from that early time. The magistrates 
of Athens offered sacrifices to her at the commencement of 
spring. The services of her sanctuary were conducted by two 
virgins elected for the period of one year. 

In Rome the worship of Minerva was conducted with as 



much zeal as that of Athene at Athens, her character as god- 
dess of wisdom and serious thought being admirably calculated 
to attract a people like the Romans. She was the protectress 
of their arts and industries, of the domestic operations of 
spinning and weaving and embroidering, just as she was among 
the Greeks. In Rome she had several temples, one of the 
oldest of them being that on the Capitol. A festival which 
lasted from March 19th to 23d was annually held in her 
honour. But the object connected with her, which the Romans 
venerated above all things else, was the Palladium, or an- 
cient figure of the goddess, the story of which was that it had 
originally fallen from heaven, and had thereupon become the 
property of the royal family of Troy, the possession of it being 
from that time always considered an assurance of the safety of 
that city. But in the course of the war between the Greeks 
and Trojans it was secretly carried off by Diomedes and 
Odysseus, upon which followed the capture of the town by 
means of the wooden horse. Another version of the story 
has it that -ffineas took it with him when he fled from the 
city; and in consequence.of this inconsistency in the story it- 
happened in later times that more than one city claimed the pos- 
session of the real Palladium — as, for example, Argos, Athens, 
and Rome. Wherever it was believed to be, there the firm 
conviction existed that the endurance of the city depended on 
the possession of the image, and so it haj)pened afterwards 
that the expression Palladium was employed in a wider sense 
to objects thought to be of similar importance; and when, 
for instance, we hear of the ''Palladium of Freedom being 
carried off," we understand that the principal provision and 
security of freedom has been lost. The symbols of Athene 
were the owl, the cock, the snake, and the olive tree. 


In works of art Athene generally appears as a virgin of serious aspect, armed 
with helmet, shield, and spear, wearing long full drapery, and on her breast 
the aegis, with a border of snakes, and the face of Medusa in the centre. She 
is often accompanied by an owl. Of the many statues of her, the two most 
famous in antiquity as works of art were those by the sculptor Pheidias : the 
one of gold and ivory stood in her great temple at Athens, the Parthenon. 
Some idea is given of it by Plate XII., which represents a restoration from a 
presumed copy of the original. 

The other was of bronze (Plate XL), colossal in size, and stood on the 
Acropolis, towering above the temple just named, the crest of her helmet and 
point of her spear being visible from the sea as far away as Cape Sunium, the 
most southern point of Attica. Her attitude was that of preparing to hurl her 
spear, and the title she bore, that of Fromachos, or " Van of Battle." A 
representation of the statue is to be seen on the coins of Athens on which a 
view of the Acropolis is given. 

The last record we have of the statue of gold and ivory is in the year 375 
A. D., how and when it perished remaining still a mystery. The attitude of 
the bronze statue exists, it is believed, in several small statuettes, of which 
there is one in the British Museum, which was found in Athens. On the 
painted vases we find many representations of her birth, of her contest with the 
Giants, of her assisting heroes, such as Perseus and Herakles, in their exploits. 
The subjects of the sculptures, now in the British Museum, which decorated 
the pediments of the Parthenon, were, in the front, her birth, and at the back, 
her contest with Poseidon. In the Erechtheum at Athens was an ancient 
figure of the goddess, believed to have fallen from heaven; while another 
ancient figure of her, the Palladium properly so called, was preserved in the 
city under the care of a priestly family named Byzigi. It also was believed 
to have fallen from heaven. In its presence was held a court for the trial of 
cases of bloodshed. 


(plate XI.) 

From the sun comes our physical light, but that light is at 
the same time an emblem of all mental illumination, of know- 
ledge, truth, and right, of all moral purity ; and in this respect 
a distinction was made between it as a mental and a physical 
phenomenon — a distinction which placed Phoebos-ApoUo 

, \ ^ Clj^fr' vrf i ^^■^; ^r'^^^ i 

Pallas-Athene, by Pheidias. 


on one side and Helios on the other. Accordingly Phoibos- 
Apollo is the oracular god who throws light- on the dark ways 
of the future, who slays the Python, that monster of darkness 
which made the oracle at Delphi inaccessible. He is the god 
of music and song, which are only heard where light and 
security reign, and the possession of herds is free from danger. 
Helios, on the other hand, is the physical phenomenon of 
light, the orb of the sun, which, summer and winter, rises and 
sets in the sky. His power of bringing secrets to light has 
been already seen in the story of Vulcan and Venus. 

The myth of Apollo is, like that of Aphrodite, one of the 
oldest in the Greek system, but, unlike the latter, which is at 
least partly traceable to oriental influence, is a pure growth 
of the Greek mind. No doubt certain oriental nations had 
deities of the sun and of light similar in some points to Apollo, 
but this only proves the simple fact that they viewed the 
movements of the sun and the operations of light in a general 
way similarly to the Greeks. We have seen in the preceding 
chapters how the sky, earth, sea, and lower world were per- 
sonified by divine beings of a high order, while in the same 
way other forces and powers in nature were imagined as 
beings. In the myth of Apollo we shall find represented the 
various operations of the eternal light of the sun. 

It is the sun's rays, or the arrows of Apollo, that every- 
where, as the fields, and gardens teach us, quicken life, and 
foster it towards ripeness ; through them a new life springs all 
around, and in the warmth of their soft, kindly light the 
jubilant voice of nature is heard and awakens an echo in the 
human soul. At the same time these arrows destroy the life 
of plants and animals ; even man falls under them in southern 
climates, such as Greece. Their light penetrates to dark 


corners, and is capable of reaching to inmost recesses. All 
these ideas are represented in the myth of Apollo, who is 
therefore conceived in various ways corresponding to the genial 
radiance of the sun, with all its friendly influences: (i) as the 
personification of youth and beauty; (2) as god of earthly 
blessings; (3) as god of the herds that graze on the fields 
which are warmed by him, — a character in which he appeared 
herding the cattle of Laomedon, which multiplied largely 
under his care, and when alone piping on his flute, till the wild 
beasts were attracted from their dens ; (4) as god of medicine, 
who provided for the growth of healing plants; (5) as god of 
music, for everywhere were heard happy, joyful sounds, when 
his kindly beams spread light and warmth over nature ; (6) as 
god of oracles which reveal the secrets of the future, as the 
light of heaven dispels all darkness, and detests nocturnal gloom. 
The sun appears ever young and powerful in the heavens, 
and so also must eternal youth, strength, and endurance be 
ascribed to Apollo. For this reason he came to be a pro- 
tector of youth when engaged in athletic contests, as well as 
in war. But summer heat produces plagues, and so it was 
necessary to view Apollo as the cause of the same, as the 
god of death, whose unerring arrows carry destruction with 
them. In this latter phase of his character we find him styled 
Karneios, and worshipped with particular zeal in Sparta, a 
festival being held annually in his honour in the month of 
August, the entire population withdrawing from the town and 
for several days encamping in tents in the neighbourhood, 
like a besieging army — the object being, by living in tents, to 
avoid the injurious effects of the intense heat of the dog-days. 
The name of this festival was Karneia. As a religious cere- 
mony, the intention of it was to appease the dreaded god, and 


accordingly it was attended with great reverence in Sparta, 
and from thence transplanted to Kyrene, a Greek colony on 
the north coast of Africa, to the islands of Rhodes and Sicily, 
and to the Greek cities in lower Italy — such as Tarentum and 
Sybaris. The finest of the temples in honour of this Apollo 
was at Amyklse. 

Another phase of his character, in which his destroying 
power is combined with his function as god of youth and 
blooming vegetation, is represented in the myth from which 
he derived the title of Hyakinthios, and enjoyed a form of 
worship which was for the most part peculiar to the Pelo- 
ponnesos, the modern Morea, extending over the whole of 
the south coast of it, to Sikyon, Messenia, Amyklce, and 
Sparta. It was accompanied by laments sung from place to 
place, and by poetic competitions, the idea to be conveyed in 
the whole ceremony being the transitoriness of nature, and the 
return of life again in course of time. In this spirit the fes- 
tival of the Hyakinthia was celebrated annually at Sparta in 
July, and lasted nine days, commencing with sadness and ex- 
pressions of grief, and concluding with joyous excitement. 

The myth to which this festival related tells how Apollo 
accidentally killed, in throwing his disc, the beautiful Hya- 
kinthos, whom he dearly loved, the youngest son of Amy- 
klas; or, in another version, how Zephyros, the wind-god, 
who also loved the boy, hurled back the disc at the head of 
Hyakinthos, out of jealousy towards Apollo. The sorrow at 
the beginning of the festival of the Hyakinthia was to com- 
memorate his death, while the belief that he had been trans- 
formed into the flower which sprang up where his blood fell, 
and bears hisf name, gave occasion afterwards to happy feel- 
ings of confidence in his return. Clearly the object of the 


myth, like that of Persephone, was to point to the alter- 
nating decay and return of life in nature, which in this in- 
stance is conceived under the form of a youth, the disc of 
Apollo being equally clearly a symbol of the sun, which 
scorches up vegetation. 

A similar idea seems to run through the story which relates 
how Apollo and Artemis, taking offence at Niobe because, 
with a mother's pride, she had boasted herself higher than 
Leto as the mother of beautiful children, shot down her 
children, — Apollo the sons, and Artemis the daughters. 
When one after another had fallen before the angry deities, 
all but the youngest daughter, Niobe, with the child cling- 
ing to her, implored them in anguish to spare the last of her 
many children, but could not avert the fatal shaft. When it 
struck, her mother's heart became like a stone, and she refused 
to murmur or complain. She was transformed, it was said, 
into a rugged rock, down which tears trickled silently (see 
plate XIII.). 

While bringing sometimes a pleasant death with his arrows, 
Apollo at other times, as during the Trojan war, when he took 
part against the Greeks, appears to exercise his destroying 
power with irresistible fury. Whole ranks of fighting men 
fall dead when he shakes his aegis, and the walls raised by the 
Greeks tumble like structures of sand made by children at play. 

As god of the sun in its friendly influence upon the face of 
nature, we find Apollo styled Thargelios, and a festival, 
called Thargelia, being held in his honour at Athens in the 
month of May, to celebrate the ripening of the fruits of the 
field under the warmth of the sun, and at the same time to 
serve as a festival of expiation in memory of the human sacri- 
fices of ancient days. In August occurred another festival at 



Athens, called Metageitnia, at which Apollo, as god of 
harvest and j^lenty, was thought of as entertaining the other 
gods and encouraging neighbourly feelings among his wor- 
shippers. In October the first fruits of the field were presented 
to him as a sacrifice, and in September was held a festival at 
which he was invoked as a helper in battle. Under the title 
of Nomios he was regarded by herdsmen as their patron god. 
But the genial influence of the sun is felt on the sea as well as 
on land, and for this reason he was styled Delphinios, and 
in this capacity worshipped, among other places, at Athens, 
where his temple, called the Delphinion, was in early times 
a place of refuge and a court for the trial of capital crimes. 
An annual festival was held in May, called Delphinia, to 
commemorate the tribute of seven boys and seven girls, whom 
Athens had been compelled in remote times to send every year 
to Crete to be offered as sacrifices to the Minotaur. 

As a god of the sun in its annual course, Apollo was thought 
to spend the winter away in a northern region among a 
mythical people called Hyperboreans, to whom it was always 
light. As the winter approached poets sang farewell to him. 
At his birth Zeus had given him a mitra (or cap), a lyre, and 
a car drawn by swans, in which he was to proceed to Delphi, 
but the swans carried him off to the bright land of the Hyper- 
boreans. When the summer came the priests of Delphi hailed 
his return in festal songs. The voice of the nightingale wel- 
comed him back. A peculiar festival, the Daphnephoria, 
was held at Thebes every eighth year in honour of Apollo 
Ismenios, the ceremony consisting of a procession in which 
was carried a branch of olive hung with wreaths and represen- 
tations of the sun, moon, stars, and planets, and called the 
Kopo. From the statement that the number of wreaths was 


365, to indicate the days of the year, it may be gathered that 
the festival as we know it was not of very high antiquity, 
symbols so obvious as this being usually of late origin. On 
the other hand, it may be supposed, from the character of 
Apollo as sun-god, that the ceremony had existed in a simpler 
form in early times. The number seven was sacred to him. 
Sacred swans made a circle seven times round the island of 
Delos at his birth, which occurred on the seventh day of the 
month. From this he took the title of Hebdomeios. 

One of the oldest forms of his worship appears to have been 
that in which he was regarded simply as god of light, and 
styled Lykios, the original centre of this worship being Lycia 
in the south-west of Asia Minor. 

Turning now to that phase of his character in which he 
represents the light of the sun as the symbol of an all-seeing 
and all-knowing power, we find Apollo regarded as the great 
god of oracles, with Delphi as the principal centre of his 
activity. His oracles were there communicated through a 
priestess, with the title of Pythia, who sat aloft on a sacred 
tripod of gold which stood above the opening of a chasm in 
the rock. Out of this chasm rose a continuous stream of cold 
vapour, which drove the priestess into a state of frenzy when 
she sat above it. Her method of prophesying was by uttering 
in her frenzy single words or sounds, which persons educated 
for the purpose caught up and put into verse, generally in 
such a cunning way as to have, instead of a clear incontro- 
vertible meaning, a double and easily mistaken import. 

To give one example : the oracle, when consulted by the 
Athenians for advice as to how to meet best the approach of 
the Persian force, returned as its answer, ''Trust to your cita- 
del of wood." This the Athenian sages misunderstood, and 


proceeded to have the Acropolis protected with wooden 
bulwarks, which naturally could not for a moment resist the 
enemy. Themistocles, however, and the younger men of the 
day declared that the words referred to the fleet, and suc- 
ceeded in persuading the people to take to the ships, the 
result of which was the glorious victory of Salamis. Had the 
interpretation of the sages been accepted generally, the oracle 
would have had the answer ready, that it meant the fleet. It 
was only by such tricks that the oracle of Delphi, clever and 
far -seeing as the priests were, could have maintained its repu- 
tation for unerringness and its vast influence. 

Of the same nature, but apparently older, were the oracles 
of Apollo in Asia Minor; as for instance those of Colophon 
and Didymi near Miletus, the latter of which was in the hands 
of the priestly family of the Branchidse. Sometimes the god 
exercised the power of communicating the prophetic gift to 
mortals, as he did to Cassandra, and to Deiphobe, a 
daughter of Glaukos. The latter lived in a grotto beside the 
town of Cumae, in the Campania of Italy, and was known by 
the name of the Cumaean Sibyl. It was from her that 
Tarquin the Proud, the last king of Rome, acquired the three 
Sibylline books which contained important prophecies con- 
cerning the fate of Rome, and were held in great reverence 
by the Romans. They were preserved carefully in the Capitol 
down to the time of Sulla, -v^hen they perished in a fire. In 
Greece also was a famous seer or prophet, and favourite of 
Apollo Epimenides, of whom the myth reports that when 
a herdsman he fell asleep in a grotto, slept for fifty-six years, 
and on awakening found himself endowed with the prophetic 
gift in a high degree. 

Connected with his gift of prophecy was his power of music. 


For not only were the oracles expressed in verse, but the 
strains of music, when spontaneous, were thought to originate 
in an inspired foresight into the future. As god of music he 
was leader of the Muses, Musagetes ; and himself played 
on a wonderful lyre which Hermes had made for him. 

At Delphi he was styled Apollo Pythios, and enjoyed 
several annual festivals, such as the Theophania, to cele- 
brate his return from the Hyperboreans, and the Theoxenia, 
at which, it being harvest time, he was supposed to receive 
the other gods at his hospitable table. The principal festival, 
however, was that at which the Pythian Games were held. 
The games had been instituted to commemorate the victory 
of Apollo over the dragon Python, which resisted his en- 
trance upon his duties as oracular god at Delphi. They were 
held at first every seventh, afterwards every ninth, and latterly 
every fifth year. 

As being himself possessed of eternal youth, and of the 
finest conceivable athletic form, Apollo came to be regarded 
as a patron of the athletic contests of youth, and in this capa- 
city ranked with Herakles and Hermes. He was the god 
also to whom persons polluted either with disease or crime 
turned for purification, and on this account his high power 
was brought home frequently and seriously to a great part of 
the people. He was, therefore, properly viewed as the father 
of Asklepios, the god of medicine. 

The story of the birth of Apollo is that he, with his twin 
sister Artemis, was a son of Zeus and Leto (or Latona) ; 
that I^eto, after wandering long hither and thither, pursued by 
the jealous Hera, at last found shelter in the island of Delos^ 
in the Egean sea, and there was delivered. It was said that 
hitherto that island had been only a waste rock driven about 


in the sea, but that it became fixed in its present position on 
the occasion of the birth of Apollo and Artemis, an event 
which was celebrated by a blaze of golden light shed over the 
island, while sacred swans flew round encircling it seven times. 
This was in May, and for that reason his festival at Delos, the 
Delia, was held in that month. But Leto was compelled, 
through the pursuit of Hera, to abandon her children. They 
were entrusted to Themis, a name which signifies ''justice," 
and indicates here the indisputable sense of right present with 
Apollo from his birth. By her he was fed on ambrosia and 
nectar, upon which he grew so strong, and that, too, so 
quickly, that within only a few hours after his birth he was a 
youth of dazzling appearance, and escaped his divine nurse, 
proclaiming that his destiny was to be a bowman, a player on 
the lyre and to give truthful oracles to mankind. 

To accomplish the end of his ambition he set out at once 
on a pilgrimage to search for a suitable place for an oracle, 
neither too public nor too retired. After searching through 
many districts of Greece he arrived at the quiet rocky valley 
of Delphi, or Pytho, which he recognized as the desired spot, 
on account of its peaceful position in the heart of Greece. 
Moreover there had been an oracle of Themis there from a 
remote early time, and she was willing to hand over her duties 
to the young god. A terrible dragon, however, called Python, 
stood in the way, refused entrance, and tried to repel him; 
but in vain, for the young god, confident in the unerring aim 
of his arrows, attacked the monster, and slew it after a short 
combat. In this way he acquired his world-famed oracle, 
and from his victory over the dragon obtained the title of 

From that time forward, with one exception, Apollo re- 


mained in undisputed possession of the sacred tripod and 
oracle at Delphi, and that was when he had to take up their 
defence against Herakles, who, because the acting priestess 
did not prophesy as he wished, offered her violence and carried 
off the tripod. Apollo hastened to the aid of his priestess, and 
Zeus had to settle the quarrel between his two sons, who there- 
after lived in the closest friendship. 

Amongst the other incidents of his life, it is related that 
Apollo once incurred the severe displeasure of Zeus, and was 
driven for a time out of Olympos, through having shot at 
some of the Kyklopes in revenge for Zeus having struck 
Asklepios (^sculapius), a son of Apollo, with a thunder- 
bolt. During his exile on earth, he acted as a herdsman to 
his friend Admetos, the king of Pherse, in Thessaly, and 
again in the same capacity to Laomedon, prince of Troy. In 
vexation at his banishment he joined with Poseidon in an at- 
tempt to dethrone Zeus. But the scheme failed, and both 
deities were in consequence sentenced to assist in building 
the walls of Troy. Laomedon refused to give them the pay- 
ment agreed on for the service, and Apollo revenged himself 
by sending a dreadful pestilence which depopulated the town 
and neighbourhood of Troy. During the time of his servitude 
he had also a quarrel with Pan, who insisted that the flute 
was a better instrument than the lyre. The decision, which 
was left to Midas, a king of Lydia, was given in favour of 
Pan, for which Apollo punished Midas by causing his ears to 
grow long like those of an ass. Marsyas, too, had boasted 
that he could surpass Apollo in the art of playing on the flute, 
and for this had to suffer the cruel punishment of being flayed 

In Rome the worship of Apollo was not established till 320 


B. c, a temple being raised to him in that year in consequence 
of a pestilence that had visited the city. Afterwards a second 
temple to him was erected on the Palatine hill. The Apolli- 
narian Games were instituted during the second Punic war. 

No distinction was made by the Greek poets of later times 
between Apollo and the sun-god, Helios. As little did the 
Romans distinguish between Apollo and Sol. In both cases 
tiie confusion arose from the fact that the fundamental idea of 
both deities was that of sun-gods. The title of Phoebos plainly 
designated Apollo as god of pure streaming light, particularly 
of the light of heaven, and this phase of his character was 
made more conspicuous by the fact of his mother's name being 
Leto, '* darkness, ' ' strictly '' goddess of the dark night. ' ' But 
this, his original signification, came in time to be lost sight of 
in the variety of other functions which he assumed. Helios, 
or Hyperion, on the contrary, remained, properly speaking, 
only the orb of the sun which is visible in the heavens by day, 
and disappears by night in a regular course. That was the 
only signification he had. The number seven was sacred to 
him, as it was to Apollo, and in the island of Trinakia, sap- 
posed to be Sicily, it was said, he had seven herds of cows 
and seven herds of lambs, fifty in each herd, which never in- 
creased or diminished in numbers. It was one of his pleasures 
to sje them grazing when he rose in the morning and when he 
descended in the evening. 

Of the sons of Helios the most famous is Phacthon, of 
whom it is said that he once had a dispute about his origin 
with Epaphos, a son of Zeus and lo, and in consequence 
begged Helios, if he really was his father, to prove himself 
such by granting one request ; upon which Helios called the 
river Styx to witness that he would not refuse to grant it. 


The request was, that he, Phaethon, should be permitted for 
one day to drive the chariot of the sun. Helios, astonished 
at the boldness of the request, and alarmed at the danger that 
threatened his son in such an undertaking, endeavoured to 
move him from his determination. But Phaethon only clung 
to the bargain all the more firmly, and Helios, finding him- 
self bound by his oath, instructed his son how to drive and 
manage the horses, and handed over to him the task for one 
day. The youth, however, through being unused to the work, 
and unacquainted with the right way, soon became confused, 
and lost his strength and his senses. The spirited horses 
wheeled out of the right course, and brought the chariot of 
the sun so near to the earth that in some places the latter took 
fire, fountains were dried up, rivers began to boil, and par.t 
of the human race became black in colour. Zeus, alarmed at 
the unexpected danger in which both heaven and earth were 
thus placed, slew Phaethon with a stroke of lightning, and cast 
him from the chariot of the sun down into the river Eridanos. 
The three sisters of Phaethon, Heliades, as they were called 
— that is, daughters of Helios, Phaethusa, JEgle, and 
Lampetia, wept for him a long time, and finally became 
transformed into larch trees, that overhang the river's banks, 
the tears that continually flowed from them being changed by 
the sun into amber {elektron.^ Phaethon's friend Kyknos 
mourned his loss deeply, and was transformed into a swan, 
while Helios was so grieved at his son's death that only the 
entreaties of the gods could prevail on him to resume the 
reins of the chariot of the sun. 

The symbols of Helios were horses' head::, a crown of seven 
rays, a cornucopia, and a ripened fruit. The symbols of Apollo 
were the wolf, swan, raven, stag, dolphin, laurel, rxl lyre. 


Artemis, or Diana. 

Dionysos. or Bacchus. 


In works of art Apollo is usually represented as having the figure of a youth- 
ful athlete — perhaps the finest existing statue of him being the Apollo Belvi- 
dere of the Vatican. His hair is long, and usually tied, like that of his sister 
Artemis, in a large knot above his forehead. In the character of Musagetcs 
he wears long ample drapery girt at the waist, a diadem round his head, and 
long tresses falling on his shoulders. Though the general representation of 
him is that in which he is engaged in playing on the lyre, or resting from doing 
so, as in plate xi., we find him also with bow and arrou-s, as Sauroktonos, kill- 
ing a lizard, holding forth his aegis to destroy his enemies, and present at the 
flaying of Marsyas. 


(plates XIV. AND XV.) 

Originally Artemis was the divine personification of the 
moon, just as her brother Apollo was originally god of the 
sun. But by degrees, as the moon came to be viewed like the 
sun, on the one hand as a mere illuminating orb, and on the 
other as possessing a real or apparent and generally believed 
influence upon vegetation, and on human as well as animal 
life, there grew up a distinction between moon-goddesses of 
two kinds, corresponding to the sun-gods of two kinds. The 
one was Selene, or Luna, whose signification was merely 
that of goddess of the orb of night, as Helios, the sun, was 
of the orb of day. The other was Artemis, or Diana, who 
embraced in her character all the other functions exercised by 
the moon on earthly life, and accordingly, like Apollo, became 
the subject of a largely developed religious belief; while the 
myth of Selene, on the contrary, like that of Helios, was but 
little and sparingly improved upon. 

Great as was the variety of the real and fancied influences 
of the moon upon natural life, proportionately great was the 
variety in the myth of Artemis — a locality of worship some- 


times, at other times a particular point of view of her charac- 
ter determining the phase of it. And further, it should be 
observed that many peculiar features in the myths of Artemis 
are traceable to the fact of her being twin-sister of Apollo, 
whose inner and spiritual qualities she was believed to share. 
It was observed that the vegetation of warm southern lands 
spread and flourished most under the quickening influence of 
the coolness of night and the fall of dew, which often for 
whole months was a substitute for the missing rains. It was 
known by experience that the fall of dew is most copious when 
the sky is clear and the moon sheds her pure light — and hence 
to Artemis was ascribed the cause of fertility in this direc- 
tion. Hence she was believed to roam by night through woods 
and groves, over hills and valleys, accompanied by the nymphs 
of the fountains; beside rivers, fountains, and marshes her 
presence was felt. But the presence of the moon in the hea- 
vens gave security to travellers and to herds, especially from 
the attacks of wild animals, whose enemy Artemis was there- 
fore thought to be. Under the title of Agrotora she was the 
patron goddess of huntsmen, her favourite hunting-ground be- 
ing Arcadia, with its many heights and glens well-wooded and 
well-watered. Here she was worshipped under the form of a 
bear, and called Kalliste, the Arcadians, or bear-people, 
boasting their descent from her. On the other hand, the re- 
gularly recurring absence of the moon from the heavens, which 
could only have been regarded as due to a voluntary act on 
the part of the goddess, showed that though opposed to wild 
animals, she could also employ them for the purpose of punish- 
ing men, and to illustrate this, the story was told of her having 
sent among the^tolians the so-called Kalydonian boar, which 
laid waste their fields, till after a great hunt it was slain by 


Meleager and Atalanta. As a huntress her favourite animal 

was the stag, because its swiftness gave the best opportunity 
for her metliod of capture, which was by bow and speed of 
foot. As an instance of how severely she would punish the 
wanton slaying of the stag, there is the story of how for such 
a crime on the part of Agamemnon she detained the Greek 
fleet, on its way to Troy, in the harbour of Aulis, and exacted 
from him the sacrifice of his daughter, Iphigeneia. Aktaeon, 
tlie huntsman, had seen the goddess bathing, and for this of- 
fence to her modesty was transformed into a stag, and devoured 
by his own hounds — a story which appears to illustrate the 
destructive influence of the dog-star, Sirius. Another hunter 
whom she slew with her sweet arrows was Orion, a personi- 
fication of the bright constellation, which at the beginning of 
summer is seen in early morning in the east, where it remains 
until extinguished by the morning light. To express this in 
the form of a myth, Orion was said to have been too pressing 
in his advances towards Eos, the morning, and for this the 
goddess of the moon slew him. 

From the coincidence observed between the courses of the 
moon and the ebb and flow of tides, Artemis came to be viewed 
as a goddess who protected the occupation of the fishermen, 
not only on the shore and on arms of the sea, but also on 
lakes and rivers. In this character she bore the name of 
Diktynna, or Britomartis, and was worshipped with zeal 
among other places in the island of Crete, where, to account for 
the former of her two names, the story was told of her having, 
to escape the pursuit of Minos, thrown herself from a rock 
into the sea, upon which she was caught in a fisherman's net. 

From the joyous feelings awakened by calm moonlight, 
and perhaps partly from her relationship to Apollo, she was 


described as fond of music and the dance — a view of her 
character which appears to have presented itself in a strong 
light to the people of Arcadia. 

By whatever process the belief was arrived at, whether from 
some comparison which suggested itself between the life of 
man and the w^axing and waning of the moon, or whether 
because mankind at birth seemed to come out of night into 
the light of day, we find Artemis represented as the guardian 
and helper of child-birth, with the title of Eileithyia, 
Ilithyia,* or Eleutho. She was throughout looked upon as 
a goddess of the female productive power in nature, and 
accordingly the care and nursing of children through their 
illness were placed under her supervision. A festival, accom- 
panied by the dancing of young girls, was held in her honour 
as the goddess of youth, in Messenia, Lakonia, Elis, and else- 
where in Greece. Similarly, from the notion that mankind 
after death seems to sink into night again, she came to be 
viewed as goddess of death, particularly of that manner of 
death which could not be assigned to a known cause — it being 
said of those who were stricken suddenly, without an ostensi- 
ble cause, such as an injury or wound, that Apollo or Artemis 
had laid them low with a kindly arrow : and in these cases 
the death of men was ascribed to Apollo, and of women to 
Artemis, as a rule. 

From the fact that the moon, with its pure serene light, 
naturally suggested, as it does to us also, the idea of a modest 
pure virgin, Artemis, as her name implies, the 'Miiodest, spot- 
less goddess," came to be looked on as a virgin, and as having 
under her special care all shy and modest youths, whether boys 

* Both names are also assigned to Hera, while Eileithyia herself is de- 
scribed as a daughter of Zeus and Hera. 


or girls, from whom slic rcrcivcd presents of wreaths of flowers 
in the spring-time. When girls had reached an age at which 
her care was no longer necessary, it was customary for them 
to dedicate their girdles to the goddess. Young girls were 
sometimes called " bears," in allusion to their patron goddess, 
and her symbol of a bear. She was worshipped in Athens, 
Corinth, and Thebes as goddess of strict upbringing, of good 
fame, of upright mind, and of sensibility in the affairs of or- 
dinary life. She chased and fired her arrows at all wild and 
unchecked creatures and actions. 

Wlien only a maiden of tender age she resolved, and ob- 
tained Zeus' consent, to remain always in a single state, and, 
like Athene, continued constant and true to her resolve, 
punishing with great severity every offence against this prin- 
ciple on the part of the nymphs who accompanied her, as we 
see in the examj^lcs of Daphne, whom she transformed into 
a laurel tree, and Kallisto into a bear. 

It may have been from the same motive which assigned the 
bear as a symbol, that in early times her worship was attended 
with human sacrifice. Of this kind was the worship of the 
Tauric Artemis, at first peculiar to the countries on the 
shores of the Black Sea, the Crimea being the principal centre 
of it. From the Crimea, it is said, Orestes brought an image 
of the goddess, and transplanted her worship to Greece, where 
it took root, among other places, at Sparta. There she was 
styled Orthia or Orthosia. The sacrifices of human beings 
were however, in later times, commuted for the well-known 
ceremony of flogging youths at her altar, said to have been 
introduced by the Spartan legislator Lykurgos. 

As goddess of marshes she was styled Limnaia, and as a 
river goddess Potamia. In this latter capacity she took under 


her protection the nymphs of fountains, as, for example, Are- 
thusa, whose beauty had attracted the river-god Alpheios, 
and made her the object of his constant pursuit, till Artemis 
to elude him, caused the water of the spring which she repre- 
sented to flow under-ground. As Munychia, or moon-god- 
dess, she was worshipped at the harbour of Athens, and en- 
joyed an annual festival, at which cakes of the shape of a full 
moon, with lights stuck in them, were presented to her. As 
Brauronia, with the symbol of a bear, she had a sanctuary 
on the Acropolis of Athens. In Euboea she was styled Am- 
arynthia, and was worshipped with great ceremony. 

Selene, or Luna, it has already been said, stood as god- 
dess of the moon, in the same relation to Artemis as did 
Helios to Phoebos-Apollo, inasmuch as she merely represented 
the orb of the moon, while Artemis represented the influence 
exercised on nature by night, the symbol of which was the 
moon, as the sun was symbol of day. Accordingly, as com- 
pared with Helios, the rising star of day, Selene represents 
evening and night, carrying a torch, and clad in long heavy 
robes, with a veil covering the back of her head. On her 
brow she wears a half-moon (less frequently horns), and leans 
forward, as if moving with speed, in a chariot drawn by two 
horses ; or she rides on a mule. The story of her love for 
the beautiful young Endymion, whom she found asleep on a 
hill-side, and, enamoured of his loveliness, descended to him, 
is the best known of the myths concerning her, and may be 
taken as a symbolical representation of the gentle influence of 
the goddess of night, who watches the slumbers of unconscious 
creatures. Among the Romans Luna had a handsome tem- 
ple, founded by King Servius Tullius, on the Aventine hill, 
another on the Capitol, and a third on the Palatine. 


Diana of Ephesus. 


C()mi)arc(i witli the Artemis whom we have up to now been 
describing, the so-called Ephesian Artemis, or Diana of 
Ephesus, presents (Plate XV.) so very different and strange 
an aspect, that at first sight we are completely at a loss to un- 
derstand how by any pos'Sibility the term of a virgin could 
be applied to her. Her appearance altogether wants the sim- 
plicity, humanity, and truth to nature which characterized 
the Greek deities, and, v/hat is more, bears the most obvious 
signs of maternity. It would seem that the Greeks, who set- 
tled as colonists in very early times on the coast of Asia 
Minor, found this goddess being worshipped by the native 
population of that land, and adopted her in the place of Arte- 
mis, who, leaving out the fact of her being a virgin, was pro- 
bably identical with the Asiatic goddess in respect of her 
divine power over fertility, childbirth, the moon, and hunting. 

The worship of Diana of Ephesus extended throughout 
the part of Asia Minor colonized by Greeks, and thence spread 
to other places — never, however, obtaining a firm footing in 
Greece Proper. At Ephesus she had a temple, wliich, for the 
grandeur of its architecture, its size, splendour, and wealth, 
was reckoned one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. 
On the night on which Alexander the Great was born it was 
set fire to and almost completely destroyed by a man named 
Herostratos, whose object, being simply to hand down his 
name in history, was gained. Afterwards, when Alexander 
had acquired renown by his extraordinary conquests in Asia, 
this coincidence was remarked, and accepted as having been 
an omen of his future fame. Whether he himself believed so 
or not, he gladly assisted in the rebuilding of the temple, so 
that when finished it was more magnificent than before. Diana 
was still being worshipped zealously when the Apostle Paul 


went to Ephesus to preach Christianity, and accordingly he 
was received with hostility, especially by the silversmiths and 
goldsmiths, whose trade consisted largely in the production of 
small shrines, or representations of the front of the temple of 
Diana, to be sold among her worshippers and devotees. Feel- 
ing that the success of Paul's preaching would ruin their trade, 
they raised so great an opposition to him and his followers that 
they were obliged to leave the town. Nevertheless the new 
religion found converts, who from that time forward formed a 
Christian community there. This Artemis was also worshipped 
under the title of Leukophryne in Asia Minor, and as such 
had a splendid temple at Magnesia on the Maeander. 

Among the Romans the worship of Diana appears to have 
been of native growth, and not, as was the case with that of 
many of the other deities, imported from Greece. A temple 
had been erected to her in Rome on the Aventine hill as early 
as the time of King Servius TuUius. Her sacrifices consisted 
of oxen and deer ; and these, as well as the fruit presented to 
her, had to be perfectly clean and faultless, as became offer- 
ings to a virgin goddess. Stags, dogs, and the first-fruits of 
the fields were sacred to her. 

In works of art Artemis was usually represented as a huntress, either in the 
act of running with speed in pursuit of her game, or resting, and presenting 
the picture of a young virgin, fleet of foot, her dress girt high, and unencum- 
bered except Ijy bow and arrows. In type of face she resembles her brother 
Apollo so closely that, from the face alone, it is sometimes difficult to distin- 
guish them. Her hair, like his, is gathered into a large knot above the fore- 
head. The most celebrated of the statues of her that have come down to us is 
the so-called Diana of Versailles. In early works of art, and in some of the 
later — as, for example, a marble statue in the British Museum — her drapery 
reaches to her feet, but in these cases also she is represented as in active move- 
ment, like the moon hastening through the clouds. Of the incidents in which 
she figured we fiind that of Aktaeon being transformed into a stag and devoured 


by his hounds, in a sculptured group, on a painted vase, and on the frag- 
ment of a cameo in the British Museum. The hunt of the Kalydonian boar 
occurs on painted vases. 

The Ephesian Artemis was represented (plate xv.) with a mural crown on 
her head. Behind the crown is a disc, as symbol of the full moon ; on her 
breast, like a necklace, a garland of flowers, as a sign of her influence in spring 
time, while above it are figures of maidens, to indicate her patronage of young 
girls; lions cling to her arms; as mother of wild beasts, she has many breasts; 
her legs are closely bandaged and ornamented with figures of bulls, stags, lions 
and gryphons; at the sides are flowers and bees. How far this figure may 
have resembled the original image of the goddess which had fallen from heaven, 
it is impossible to say. 

Selene or Luna is represented as riding on a mule or a horse ; on the pedi- 
ment of the Parthenon it is a horse. On a painted vase in the British Museum 
there occurs a representation of sunrise; Helios is seen rising in his chariot, 
the stars, in the form of youths, dive headlong into the sea, and the moon (Se- 
lene) rides away over the hill-tops on a horse, and as she departs is bayed at 
by a dog. 


(plate XIV.,) 

Having more titles than any of the other deities, was styled, to 
increase their number, "God of the many names," of these the 
most familiar being, Bromios, Lyaeos, Dithyrambos, 
and Bakchos. The belief in the existence and powers of 
this god appears to have been borrowed by the Greeks in its 
primitive form from oriental mythology, to have been deve- 
loped by them, and in later times communicated to the 
Romans. His original signification was that of a divine being 
whose power might be noticed operating in the sap of vegeta- 
tion ; and, accordingly, spring was a season of gladness and joy 
for him, and winter a season of sorrow. From this sprung his 
double character of god of the vintage and its gay accompani- 
ments, and god of the ecstatic and mystic ceremonies in which 


his sufferings during winter were deplored. As time went on 
he came to be viewed chiefly as the source of the happiness and 
mirth which arise from the enjoyment of the noble fruit of the 
vine ; while afterwards, from the fact that his festivals in spring 
and summer, with their gaiety and mirth, gave occasion to 
the first attempts at dramatic performances, he added the 
function of god of the theatre to that of god of the vine. 

He was born, it was commonly believed, at Thebes, and 
was a son of Zeus and Semele, a daughter of Kadmos, 
the founder of that town, a son of Agenor, and grandson 
of Poseidon. Of his birth poets relate how Hera, indig- 
nant at this rival in her husband's affections, determined to 
get rid of her ; and to this end, assuming a disguise, went to 
Thebes, and presented herself to Semele ; how she succeeded 
in winning her confidence, and thereupon took occasion to 
propose that she should ask Zeus to visit her for once in all 
the plenitude of his majesty as a god of thunder, how Zeus, 
who, without waiting to listen, had hastily sworn "by the 
black waters of the Styx, ' ' to grant whatever she should ask, 
was vexed when he heard the foolish request, from granting 
which no power could absolve him ; how one day he appeared 
before the luckless Semele with a display of thunder and 
lightning which caused her death. So far the desire of ven- 
geance on the part of Hera was satisfied. But Semele, at the 
moment of her death, gave birth to a male child, whose life 
Zeus fortunately restored. That was the child Bakchos. 
To prevent its suffering at the hands of Hera, Hermes, the 
messenger of the gods, was secretly despatched with the infant 
to a place called Nysa, where were certain nymphs, to whom, 
along with Silenos, the charge of bringing up the child was 
entrusted. His title of Dithyrambos, it is said, means 


^' twice born," and refers to the incident of his life being 
restored by Zeus. In after times it was applied to a species 
of song in honour of the god of wine, of which Arion of 
Methymna wiui the reputed originator. 

The childhood of Dionysos was spent in innocence and 
happiness among the nymphs, satyrs, sileni, herdsmen, and 
vine-tenders of Nysa. But when he arrived at manhood he set 
out on a journey through all known countries, even into the 
remotest parts of India, instructing the people, as he pro- 
ceeded, how to tend the vine, and how to practise many other 
arts of peace, besides teaching them the value of just and 
honourable dealings. He was praised everywhere as the 
greatest benefactor of mankind. At the same time, it is said, 
apparently with reference to the fierce and stubborn mood 
which in some cases follows copious indulgence in w^ine, that 
he met occasionally with great resistance on his journey, but 
always overcame it and punished those who opposed him most 
severely. As an instance of this, we will take Lykurgos, 
the king of Thrace, whom, for his resistance, Dionysos drove 
mad, and caused to fell his son, mistaking him for a vine- 
plant, and afterwards to kill himself in despair. Or, again, 
Pentheus, a king of Thebes, whom he caused to be torn to 
pieces by his own mother and her following of women, because 
he had dared to look on at their orgiastic rites. 

Nowhere was the knowledge of how to utilize the vine ap- 
preciated more than in Attica, where the god had communi- 
cated it to Ikaros, whose first attempt to extend the benefit 
of it to others brought about his own death, an event which 
was deeply grieved for afterwards. In December a festival, 
with all manner of rustic enjoyments, was held in honour of 
Dionysos in the country round Athens. In January, a festival 


called LfCnaea was held in his honour in the town, at which 
one of the principal features was a nocturnal and orgiastic 
procession of women. Then followed in February the An- 
thesteria, the first day of which was called 'cask-opening 
day, ' and the second ' pouring day. ' Lastly came the great 
festival of the year, the Great Dionysia, which was held in 
the town of Athens, and lasted from the ninth to the fifteenth 
of March, the religious part of the ceremon<5^ consisting of a 
procession in which an ancient wooden image of the god was 
carried through the streets from one sanctuary to another, ac- 
companied by excited songs. The theatre of Dionysos was 
daily the scene of splendid dramatic performances, and the 
whole town was astir and gay. 

His worship extended to Lemnos, Thasos, and Naxos, where 
the story was told of his turning the Tyrrhenian pirates into 
dolphins, and where he found the beautiful Ariadne, when 
she had been abandoned by Theseus. It spread to Crete, the 
home of Ariadne, and into Asia Minor. In Phrygia he was 
worshipped with wild ceremonies, called Sabazia, and in 
Thrace and Macedonia, called Kottytia. As the god who 
had advanced through Asia Minor and on to India, accom- 
panied by his wild and clamorous following, he was styled the 
Indian Dionysos, and in this character was represented as ad- 
vanced in years. 

The sufferings which the god was supposed to endure in 
winter led him to be associated with Demeter in the mys- 
teries of Eleusis, the purpose of which was, as has been said, 
to celebrate the grief of the goddess in winter, and her pros- 
pects of joy in the coming spring. 

The vine, ivy, and pomegranate were sacred to this god ; 
his sacrifices consisted of goats and pigs. 


In works of art Dionysos was represented under a variety of forms ; of these, 
however, two are to be specially noticed. The one called the " Indian Bak- 
chos" represents him as a man of years, with worthy aspect, a long beard, a 
diadem on his brow, and long drapery sweeping "to his feet. In the other fig- 
ure he is represented as a beautiful youth with an almost feminine appearance 
(plate xiv.), beardless, his hair falling in long tresses, and adorned with a wreath 
of ivy or vine tendrils, sometimes wearing the skin of a stag over his shoulders, 
or with small horns on his brow, and often in a car drawn by panthers or lions, 
or riding on one of these beasts. 

At otlier times he appears as a child, and that sometimes when he is being 
handed over by Hermes to the care of Silenos and the nymphs of Nysa. The 
youthful Dionysos is frequently represented in the company of Ariadne, while 
the elder Dionysos is usually accompanied by Sileni and Satyrs, as when he 
visited Ikaros and taught him the use of the vine, a scene which occurs on sev- 
eral ancient reliefs, of which two are in the British Museum. On his journey 
to India he rides on a camel, and on other occasions he is attended by pan- 
thers. His staff is a thyrsus — a rod with a pine cone at the top. In his hand is 
often a drinking cup. The movement and excitement of the persons who were 
associated with Dionysos was a great attraction to Praxiteles and the sculptors 
of his time, and it is probable that the many sculptures of Dionysiac subjects 
which we now possess come from either as originals or direct imi- 


(plates X. AND XVII,,) 

A son of Zeus and Maia, a daughter of Atlas, was regarded 
in the first instance as the special deity to whom was due the 
prolificness and welfare of the animal kingdom. In conse- 
quence, however, of the fact that in early times the chief 
source of wealth consisted in herds of cattle, the prolificness 
of which was traced to him, it came to pass in time that he was 
considered generally to be the first cause of all wealth, come 
whence it might. But as civilization advanced, and it became 
known by experience that there was no means of acquiring 
wealth so rapidly as by trade his province was extended to 


trade, and the protection of traders. Again, since the main 
condition of prosperity in trade was peace and undisturbed 
commerce by land and sea, he came to be viewed as guardian 
of commerce. And, further, assuming that all who took part 
in trade were qualified to look after their own interests, shrewd 
and prudent, the function of protecting prudence, shrewdness, 
and even cunning, was assigned to him. In certain aspects 
of trade, if not in the best, it was reckoned a great point to 
talk over and cajole purchasers, and from his protection of 
this method of doing business, Hermes came to be god of 
*' persuasive speech" or oratory. Finally, it being only a 
short step from this to cunning and roguery, we must not be 
surprised to find him described as protector of thieves and 
rascals, though no doubt this task was assigned him more in 
joke than in earnest. 

His office of messenger and herald of the gods, in particular 
of Zeus, appears to have originated partly in the duty assigned 
to him of protecting commerce, the success of which depends 
largely on the messengers and envoys employed in it, and 
partly in other functions of his which would lead us too far to 
explain. As messenger and envoy of Zeus, Hermes conducts 
the intercourse between heaven and earth, announcing the 
will of the gods to men, and from this office was further de- 
rived his character of a god of oracles. In the capacity of 
messenger or herald he had access even 'to the under-world, 
whither, under the title of Psychopompos, he guided the 
souls of the departed, crossing in Charon's bark, and placing 
them before the throne of the deities below. (Plate VI.) From 
the shadowy world of spirits to that of sleep and dreams is a 
short step for the imagination, and accordingly we find Her- 
mes described as Oneiropompos, guide of dreams. As the 


swift messenger of the gods he readily came to be looked on 
as a model for the youth practising in the paleestra, in which 
capacity he had the title of Enagonios. 

In proportion to the variety of the tasks which he had to 
perform was the variety of mythical stories about his actions 
and life, some of them, taking us back to the very day of his 
birth. For it was not an uncommon practice in the early 
myth-making age to ascribe to the infancy of a god some in- 
stance of the peculiar qualities by which he was afterwards 
distinguished. So it happened with Hermes. 

His birth having taken place on the fourth of the month, 
that day became sacred to him. Born, as it was believed, 
during the darkness of night, in an unfrequented, lonesome 
cave on Mount Kyllene, in Arcadia, and on this account styled 
Kyllenios, he was only a day old when a remarkable exam- 
ple of his cunning and knavery occurred. Slipping out of the 
couch in the cave where he was left asleep as was supposed, 
the night being dark and cloudy, he found a herd of cattle 
belonging to his brother Apollo (as sun-god), and stole a 
number of them. When the morning came Apollo searched 
in vain for the missing cattle; for the infant god had cleverly 
succeeded in obliterating all traces of them by fastening 
bunches of broom to their hoofs, and in this condition driving 
them backwards into a cave at Pylos, so as to produce the im- 
pression that they had left instead of entered the cave. After 
this adventure he slunk back to his couch, and feigned to be 
asleep. He had, however, been observed by a rustic named 
Battos, who informed against him, whereupon Apollo, angry 
at such a daring piece of robbery, dragged him out of his 
couch, and took him off to the throne of Zeus to be punished 
and made an example of. But Hermes was irrepressible, 


took up a lyre which he had made the day before out of the 
shell of a tortoise, and proceeded to play on it, to the amuse- 
ment and delight of both Zeus and Apollo, and further in- 
gratiated himself with his brother by giving him the lyre, in- 
venting for his own use a shepherd's pipe. The cattle of the 
sun-god were the clouds, and Hermes was a god who presided 
over the fertility of nature. The signification of the story of 
his stealing some of these cattle on a dark night would there- 
fore seem to be simply that of clouds discharging fertilizing 
showers by night. 

The two brothers having thus made their peace, continued 
from that time forward on the best of terms, Apollo attesting 
his good disposition towards Hermes by giving him in return 
for the lyre a present of a golden divining-rod, and also the 
power of prophecy. This condition, however, was attached 
to the gift, that he was not to communicate his revelations of 
the future by words as did Apollo, but by signs and occur- 
rences. That is to say, that persons revolving some under- 
taking in their mind were to be guided by certain unexpected 
sights, accidents, or incidents, and were to recognize in them 
the favour or displeasure of the gods with reference .to the 
enterprise in question, — a method of proceeding common 
enough in modern superstition. These signs and incidents 
were believed to be sent by Hermes, whose counsel in other 
cases of doubt, as to whether to do or not do a thing, was 
sought for by recourse to dice, the belief being that a high 
throw signified his approval, and a low throw the reverse. 

The cunning and adroitness, the same good humour and 
ready answer which he gave proof of in the first days of his 
infancy, were often afterwards and with like success displayed 
by him — ^as, for example, when he stole the sceptre of Zeus, 



Hepliaestos, or Vulcan. 

Hermes, or Mercury. 


Aphrodite's girdle, Poseidon's trident, the sword of 
Ares, the tongs of Hephaestos, or Apollo's bow and ar- 
lows, in each case managing to make up matters, and smooth 
away the indignation of his victims. But the most celebrated 
instance in which his brilliant talents were fully displayed was 
the affair of Argos with the hundred eyes, whom Hera had 
appointed to watch over lo, one of the favourites of Zeus, 
whom the latter, that she might escape the vengeance of the 
jealous Hera, had transformed into a cow, a trick which the 
goddess had perceived. 

Well, Hermes being commanded by Zeus to release lo from 
the surveillance of Argos, and in doing so to use no force, 
found the task no easy matter, seeing that the watchman had 
a hundred eyes, of which, when in his deepest sleep, only fifty 
were closed. Hermes succeeded, however, and in this fashion. 
Presenting himself to Argos, he commenced to amuse him by 
telling all kinds of tales, and having by these means fairly 
gained the watchman's confidence, he next produced a 
shepherd's pipe, and played on it various tunes of such sweet- 
ness that they gradually lulled Argos into so deep a sleep that 
one by one all his hundred eyes closed. The moment the last 
eyelid drooped Hermes slew him, and at once released lo, and 
led her away. For this service he rose high in the estimation 
of Zeus, and from that time the name of '' Argos-slayer," 
Argeiphontes, was the proudest title which he bore. As a 
memorial of Argos, Hera, it was said, set his eyes in the tail 
of her favourite bird, the peacock. But these and such-like 
instances of his knavery and cunning do not by any means 
express the whole character of Hermes ; for his skill was also 
directed frequently to purposes of useful invention. It was he, 
for example, who invented Apollo's lyre, as well as that one 


by which the Thcban musician, Amphion, did such wonders; 
and it was lie who taught Palamedes to express words in 
writing. And, Ijesides, wherever danger that required skill 
and dexterity as much as courage presented *itself, he was al- 
ways present to assist. He acted as guide to heroes in their 
dangerous enterprises, and in that capacity frequently, as in 
the case of Herakles, was associated with Athene. To tra- 
vellers who had lost tlieir way he was a ready guide, and to 
exiles a constant and willing helper in strange lands and among 
ill-disposed people. 

In the primitive form of his worship Hermes was, as has 
been said, the god who gives prolificness to flocks and herds. 
In this character we find him in what appears to have been the 
oldest centre of his worship in Greece, that is in Samothrace 
and the neigliljouring islands of Imljros and Lemnos, where 
he bore the title of Kadmilos or Kasmilos. His usual title 
among herdsmen was either Nomios or Epimelios. 

A messenger himself, it became his office to aid human mes- 
sengers and travellers, and to this end it was he who inspired the 
idea of erecting sign-posts at cross-roads with directions as to 
whither each road led. These sign-posts took the form of sta- 
tues, if they may Ije so c;alled, consistingof a pillar running nar- 
rower towards the foot, and surmounted by a head of Hermes, 
and called Hermse. It was the duty of travellers on i)assing 
one of them to place a stone beside it, a custom which not only 
largely helped towards clearing the fields of stones, but also led 
to improvement in the roads themselves, and hence to in- 
creased facilities for commerce. If more than two roads crossed, 
a corresponding number of heads were placed on the pillar, 
one facing each way. Similar figures were also found outside 
houses in Athens for the purpose of cheering parting travellers. 



Leto, or Latona. 

THEMIS. 127 

The attributes of Hermes were the caduceus or kerykeion^ 
that is, a short staff with a pair of wings and a knotted snake 
attached to it, and the pdasos or winged cap. Beside him 
sometimes is a cock or a goat. For sacrifice he delighted in 
the tongues of animals, a suitable sacrifice to the god of oratory. 

The Roman Mercurius appears to have possessed in 
common with Hermes only the character of god of trade and 
oratory. Roman traders held a festival to him on the 25 th of 

In the earlier works of art Hermes appears bearded and about middle age, 
frequently carrying a sheep or a kid over his shoulders. His form is athletic. 
In more recent works we find him of a youthful figure, such as became his 
office as messenger of the gods. He wears the petasos, and sometimes wings 
at his heels, carries the caducetis, and sometimes, as god of trade, a purse. 
Among the incidents of his life, one which occurs frequently on the painted 
vases is that in which he appears presenting the three goddesses to Paris, who 
had to decide their claims as to which of them was the most beautiful. Some- 
times he is represented in sculptures as a mere boy. Many of the Hermae 
described above have come down to our times. 


(plate XVIII.,) 

A daughter of Uranos and Gaea, was the personification of 
that divine law of right which ought to control all human 
affairs, of that highest and noblest sense of right which is sub- 
ject to no human influences. In this capacity she came to be 
viewed also as goddess of the rites of hospitality. She was 
a personification of divine will as it bore upon the affairs of 
the world, and accordingly the Delphic oracle had been under 
her control before it was yielded to Apollo, to whom, as her 
successor, she communicated the prophetic art. A long time 


passed before Zeus could persuade her to become his wife — 
his first wife, as some myths have it; his second, according to 
others, whicli say that Metis was his first. To him she bore 
the Horae, Moerse or Parcae, and Astrasa, the goddess of 
justice, of whom we have already told hoAv she forsook the 
earth during the Bronze Age. The proper home of Tliemis 
was 01}Tnpos, and hence she was styled Urania. But during 
the war with the Titans she descended to earth, and there, 
throughout the Golden Age, taught mankind the exercise-^f 
right and moderation. "WHiien, afterwards, the human race 
sank into degradation, she retmned again to 01}Tnpos. 

In consequence of the profound wisdom and open truthful- 
ness which formed the essential features of the character of 
Themis, even the supreme gods consulted and acted on her 
advice; as, for example, did Zeus, when he declined to 
marry Thetis, because of the prediction of Tliemis, that a 
son would be the issue of the marriage, who would excel even 
his father in might. We shall afterwards have to relate how 
Thetis was given in marriage to Peleus, a mortal, in order 
that her son might not be a source of danger to the gods. 
The worship of Themis extended to many districts of Greece, 
where temples, altars, and statues were raised in her honour. 
The principal centres of it, however, were Athens, Trcezene, 
the island of ^gina, Thebes, and Olympia. 

Ancient artists represented her as a woman of mature age, 
with large open eyes; while modern artists — and they alone, 
it must be observed — figure her as in Plate XVIII. 

She is further represented holding a sword and chain in 
one hand and a balance in the other, to indicate the severity 
and the accuracy with which justice is to be meted out and 

HORyE. 129 


HITHERTO our descriptions have been confined to those 
deities of the Greeks and Romans, who, because their 
functions were subordinate to no god but Zeus, were styled 
of the superior order, or Olympian deities, Hades and Per- 
sephone being included, though their realm was the under- 
world, not Olympos. We proceed now to the inferior order, 
such as occupied subordinate positions in the system of gods, 
but were nevertheless worshipped independently, if not so 
universally as the others. 
We begin with the 


(plate XXV.,) 

The goddesses of the *' seasons," daughters of Zeus and 
Themis. Their number was variously estimated according to 
the variety of the divisions of the year into periods, — ^winter, 
however, not being reckoned as one, because it was the season 
of sleep and death in nature. Thus we find the worship of 
only two goddesses of seasons in Athens, the one called Thallo, 
or goddess of "blossoming," and the other Karpo, or god- 
dess of ''harvest and fruit." But elsewhere in Greece the 



usual number was three, and as such they were represented in 
works of art (see Plate XXV.), with the attributes of the sea- 
sons : Spring with its flowers. Summer with its grain, and 
Autumn with its grapes and fruit. 

Occasionally we find a fourth season, that of Winter, rep- 
resented in the act of returning with booty from the chase ; 
but, unlike her sisters, she is nameless. 

As deities of the kindly seasons which bring about the bud- 
ding and growth of nature, they were directly under the_con- 
trol of the superior deities, especially of Zeus and Hera. At 
times they are to be seen along with the Charites (Graces) 
in the company of Aphrodite, and sometimes along with the 
Muses in the company of Apollo ; for it is in the happy sea- 
sons of the year that the joyous voice of nature is heard. 

In the capacity of goddesses who watched over the blessings 
of the fields, it became their duty, further, to regulate changes 
of the weather, now opening and now shutting the gates of 
heaven, alternately sending rain and sunshine as suited best 
the increase of vegetation. Tender and gladsome, moving in 
mazy dances, with crowns of gold and of flowers, they were 
always good and faithful to mankind, and, though sometimes 
seeming to be impatient to come late, always bringing with 
them something sweet and beautiful, never proving untrue or 

The figure (in Plate XXXI.) represents a Hora dancing, 
with a wreath of palm-leaves on her head. The dish of fruit 
in her left hand probably indicates that she is the Hora of 

Such were their functions in nature. In consequence, how- 
ever, of the great and plenteous blessings that were observed 
to flow from the unchangeable and orderly succession of the 



seasons, the Horse were also supposed to watch over good order 
and propriety in human life and morality — a task wliich seems 
to have given rise to the belief that they were daughters of 
Themis. Their names, in the cases where the three appear 
together, have been admirably chosen to suit this metaphorical 
notion of their character: as, Eunomia (wise legislation). 
Dike (justice), and Eirene (peace). Eunomia's services 
were mostly directed to political life, the results being warmly 
praised by poets, and her worship never neglected by the State. 
Dike's sphere of operations was more among the incidents of 
the lives of individuals, informing, it was said, her father Zeus, 
of every injustice done on earth. Eirene, finally being the 
most cheerful of the three sisters, was said to have been the 
mother of Plutos — that is, of riches, the gay companion of 
Dionysos, and guardian goddess of songs and festivities. 

The goddess of spring was also especially worshipped as a 
Hora (plate XXI.) under the title of Chloris, which corres- 
ponds to the Roman Flora. She was the goddess of buds 
and flowers, of whom Boreas, the north winter wind, and 
Zephyros, the west spring wind, were rival lovers. She 
chose the latter, and became his faithful wife. 


Was goddess of garden fruits, -and was represented wearing a 
v/reath composed of such, or holding in her hand a horn of 
plenty full of them, with a dog by her side. Her appearance 
was that of a virgin in rustic garments. It was said that she 
had been originally a Hamadryad, but had yielded her af- 
fections to Vertumnus. Her worship was confined to the 



Romans. She had a priest, styled flamen pomonalis, spe- 
cially devoted to her service. 


The husband of Pomona, was worshipped by the Romans as 
a deity of the second order, who watched over the seasons as 
well as the garden fruits, and was represented with attributes 
similar to those of Pomona. In October an annual festival, 
resembling a harvest thanksgiving, was held in his honour, 
the offerings brought him on that occasion consisting of first- 
fruits from the garden, and wreaths of flowers of all kinds. 
Like Pomona, he, too, had a priest of his own. At times he 
was represented, like Saturn, with a pruning-knife in his 
hand, and a wreath composed of ears of corn on his head. 
Originally he was worshipped under the form of a rough 
wooden post, but had afterwards a beautiful bronze statue 
made by a Roman artist. 


(plate xvii.,) 

Was a deity unknown to the Greeks, but from the earliest 
times held in high estimation by the Romans, who placed him 
on almost an equal footing with Jupiter, even giving his 
name precedence in their prayers, and invoking the aid of 
both deities previous to every undertaking. To him they as- 
cribed the origin of all things, the introduction of the system 
of years, the change of season, the ups and downs of fortune, 
and the civilization of the human race by means of agricul- 
ture, industry, arts, and religion. According to the popular 



Hermes, or Mercury. 

JANUS. 133 

belief, Janus was an ancient king who had come in remote 
early times from Greece to Latium, there instituted the wor- 
ship of the gods and the erection of temples, and himself 
deserved high honours like a god, for this reason, that he had 
conferred the greatest boon upon mankind by his instructions 
in many important ways. In some of the stories he is con- 
founded with Saturn. In others it is said that Saturn, driven 
out of Greece, took refuge with Janus in Latium, and shared 
the government with him. 

It is easy to explain the great honour paid to Janus by a 
people like the Romans, who, as a rule, had this peculiarity of 
pondering well the prospects of an undertaking before enter- 
ing upon it. The beginning of everything was a matter of 
great importance to them, and Janus was the god of a *' good 
beginning." It is in this spirit that the Roman poet, Ovid, 
makes Janus say, "Everything depends on the beginning." 
Even when Jupiter had consented to an enterprise, prosperity 
in carrying it out was believed to be under the control of 
Janus, and, accordingly, great stress was laid on the circum- 
stances attending the commencement of any project. Janus 
opened and closed all things. He sat, not only on the con- 
fines of the earth, but also at the gates of heaven. Air, sea, 
and land were in the hollow of his hands. The world moved 
on its hinges at his command. 

In accordance with this belief, he was represented, as in 
Plate XVII., seated, with two heads, one being that of a 
youth, to indicate 'beginning,' the other that of an old man, 
to indicate the 'end,' whence he was styled Bifrons (two- 
headed). In his left hand is a key, to show that he opens at 
the beginning, and shuts at the end; the sceptre in his right 
is a sign that he controls the progress of every undertaking. 


The first day of January, a month named after him, being 
the first day of a new year, was the occasion of a celebration 
in his honour. At the beginning of every month the priests 
offered sacrifice to him at twelve altars. He was invoked every 
morning as the beginner of a new day. Even at the sacrifices 
to other gods he was remembered, and received offerings of 
wine and cakes, incense, and other things. The husbandman 
prayed to him at the beginning of seed-time. When war was 
declared he was invoked. ___ 

The public worship of Janus as a god was introduced into 
Rome as early as the time of Numa Pompilius, a foundation 
for its establishment having been previously laid during the 
reign of Romulus. The story runs, that the Sabines having 
once made an assault on the newly built town of Rome, a 
spring of boiling water suddenly appeared, and was the means 
of destroying these enemies. On this spot a temple was 
erected in honour of Janus, the gates of which stood open so 
long as Rome was at war, and were closed with great cere- 
mony and rejoicing only in times of general peace. Rome 
was, however, so continually engaged in war that, in the course 
of the first seven hundred years after the foundation of the 
city the gates of the temple were closed only three times — in 
the reign of Numa Pompilius, after the first Punic war, and 
during the reign of Augustus. Hence the temple of Janus 
with its gates shut came to be a very emphatic symbol of peace. 


Was the god of boundaries, and had, when represented in art, 
the figure of a boundary stone or pillar surmounted by a head, 
as in the case of the figures of Hermes by tlvj wayside in 


Greece. Such figures of Terminus were occasionally sur- 
mounted by the head or bust of another god, as, for example, 
of Apollo or Atlicne, and in such cases were styled Herma- 
poUo, Hermathene. Pan and Priapos, both rural deities, 
were also frequently represented in such a form. 

Numa Pompilius is said to have erected the first altar to this 
boundary god. Terminus, and to have instituted his worship 
among the Romans. To accustom his subjects to respect the 
boundaries of their neighbours, he ordered them to be marked 
off with figures of the god, and a festival to be held in his 
honour annually in February. It was called the Terminalia. 
Boundary stones were adorned with flowers on the occasion, 
and a general sacrifice offered, accompanied by lively songs. 


Called also Lutinus by the Romans, was a son of Dionysos 
and Aphrodite. He was a god of the fertility of nature, and, 
in this caj)acity, also guardian of vineyards, gardens, and cul- 
tivated fields. The idea of representing the productive power 
of nature under the form of a god is traceable back to a very 
great antiquity, but in later and depraved times it came to be 
misused for the purpose of giving expression to coarse sensual- 
ity and lust. This accounts for the diversity of his represen- 
tations, of which, however, that is the most correct in which 
he appears as a man of years holding a pruning-knife in his 
hand, and fruit in his lap. The principal centre of his wor- 
ship was Lampsakos, a town in Asia Minor, on the Hellespont, 
whence it spread over Greece. His symbols were, like those 
of Dionysos, a drinking-cup, a thyrsus, or a spear. At the 
festivals in his honour the sacrifices consisted of milk, honey, 
and asses. 



(plate XIX.) 

Was looked upon by the pastoral inhabitants of Greece, par- 
ticularly in Arcadia, as the god who watched over the pasture- 
fields, herdsmen, and herds. Woods and plains, hunting and 
fishing, were under his immediate care and patronage, and on 
this account he was differently described as a son now of Zeus, 
now of Hermes, his mother being in each case a nymph. As 
god of green fields he was associated with the worship of 
Dionysos (Bacchus), and as mountain god with that of 
Kybele. He was fond of sportive dances and playing on 
the shei)herd's pipe, which afterwards took its name of Pan's 
pipe from him, the story being that he was the inventor of it. 
It seems that a coy nymph named Syrinx, whom he loved and 
followed, was transformed into a reed, that Pan cut it and 
fashioned it into a pipe (Syrinx) with such sweet notes when 
skilfully played, that he once ventured to challenge Apollo 
to a competition. 

The judge selected was Midas, who awarded the prize to 
Pan, and was, in consequence, punished by Apollo, who made 
his ears grow like those of an ass. 

As a god of herdsmen and country people, he journeyed 
through woods and across plains, changing from place to place 
like the nomadic or pastoral people of early times, with no fixed 
dwelling, resting in shady grottoes, by cool streams, and playing 
on his pipe. Hills, caves, oaks, and tortoises were sacred to him. 

The feeling of solitude and lonesomeness which weighs 
upon travellers in wild mountain scenes, when the weather is 
stormy, and no sound of human voice is to be heard, was as- 

PAN. 137 

cribed to the presence of Pan, as a spirit of the mountains, a 
sort of Number Nip. And thus anxiety or alarm, arising from 
no visible or intelligible cause, came to be called '' Panic 
fear," that is, such fear as is produced by the agitating pres- 
ence of Pan. 

His common companions were Nymphs and Oreads, who 
danced to the strains of his pipe, and were not unfrequently 
pursued by him with violence. It is said that he rendered 
important service to the gods during the war with the Titans, 
by the invention of a kind of trumpet made from a sea-shell, 
with which he raised such a din that the Titans took fright, 
and retreated in the belief that some great monster was ap- 
proaching against them. Another story is, that Dionysos 
being once seriously attacked by a hostile and very numerous 
body of men on his way to India, was freed from them by a 
sudden terrible shout raised by Pan, which instantly caused 
them to retreat in great alarm. Both stories appear to have 
been invented to give a foundation for the expression ''Panic 
fear," which has been explained above. 

Pan, also called Hylseos or forest god, was usually repre- 
sented as a bearded man with a large hooked nose, with the 
ears and horns and legs of a goat, his body covered with hair, 
with a shepherd's pipe (syrinx) of seven reeds, or a shepherd's 
crook in his hand, as in Plate XIX. 

From Greece his worship was transplanted among the 
Romans, by whom he was styled Inuus, because he taught 
them to breed cattle, and Lupercus, because he taught them 
to employ dogs for the purpose of protecting the herds against 
wolves. The other forest deities, who were represented like 
Pan with goat's legs, were called ^gipanes, and sometime? 



Was a purely Roman deity, originally resembling the Greek 
Pan, as is implied in the name, which is only another form 
of the same word. In process of time, however, his character 
passed through many changes, and became different in many 
respects from that of the Greek god. It was not till late times, 
when the religion and myths of the Greeks emigrated into 
Italy, that the comparison of him with the Arcadian Pan was 
revived, and the identity of both asserted. The Roman poets 
frequently call the Greek Pan by the Roman name of Faunus. 
But the latter had certain myths peculiar to himself, and is 
represented by them as a son of Picus, and grandson of Sa- 
turnus, or, according to another version, a son of Mars, and 
originally an ancient king of Latium, who, for the good he 
did his people, by introducing agriculture and civilization, 
came to be worshipped after his death as a prophetic deity of 
forest and field, under the name of Fatuus. His oracles were 
delivered in groves, and communicated by means of dreams, 
which those desiring them obtained by sleeping in sacred 
places on the hides of animals that had been offered as sacri- 
fices. Fauna also delivered oracles, but only to women. 
(See below. ) 

As god of the husbandman and patron of agriculture and 
cattle-rearing, an annual festival, the L#upercalia, or Faun- 
alia, was celebrated in his honour by the Romans on the 5th 
of December. It was accompanied by sacrifices of goats, 
offerings of milk and wine, banquets, and dancing in the open 
air in meadows and at cross-roads. In the middle of Febru- 
ary also sacrifice was presented to him. He had two temples 
in Rome. Artistic representations of him are rare, and not 


easily distinguished from those of Pan. The plural form of 
the word, Fauni, is merely a Roman expression for what the 
Greeks "called Paniski or Panes. 


Picus was also a pure Roman deity, a son and a successor of 
Saturnus, father of Faunus, and husband of Canens. He 
was an ancient prophet and forest god. Another story has it 
that he loved and married Pomona. Circe, the witch, was 
attracted by his beauty, and finding her affection not returned, 
revenged herself by changing him into a woodpecker — a bird 
which was held to be a sacred symbol of prophecy by the 
Augurs or Roman priests, whose office was to foretell coming 
events by observing the flight of birds and by various other 
phenomena. In early times his figure consisted of a wooden 
pillar with a woodpecker on it, which was afterwards exchanged 
for a figure of a youth with a woodpecker on his head, the Ro- 
mans generally considering the appearance of that bird to be 
a sign of some special intention of the gods. Picus, besides 
being worshipped as a prophet and a god, was also looked upon 
as one of the first kings of Italy, and must not be confounded 
with Picumnus, who, with his brother Pilumnus, formed 
a pair of Roman deities whose office was to watch over married 
life. It was the custom to spread a couch for them at the 
birth of a child. Pilumnus, it was said, would drive away 
all illness from the childhood of the newly-born infant with 
the club (ptliim) with which he used to pound the grain ; 
while Picumnus, who had introduced the manuring of land, 
would give the child growth. Stories were told of the two 
brothers, of famous deeds in war and peace, such as were 
ascribed to the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux). 



The wife, or, according to other myths, the daughter of 
Faunus, was a Roman goddess, whose origin and significa- 
tion have been rendered very obscure by the variety of stories 
about her. She was identified with the goddess Ops, with 
Kybele, with Semele, the mother of Dionysos (Bacchus), 
with Mala, the mother of Hermes, with Gaea, Hekate, ^nd 
other goddesses. In the earliest times she was called simply 
the "kind goddess," h/ 'j.jroper name as well as her origin 
being given out as a mystery. Her festival took place on the 
first night of May, and was celebrated with wine, music, merry 
games, and mysterious ceremonies, at which only women and 
girls were permitted to be present. Fauna obtained the 
name of the "kind goddess" because, as some thought, her 
benevolence extended over the whole creation, in which case 
it was not strange that she should be identified with other 
deities. As Fatua she was represented with the appearance 
sometimes of Juno, sometimes of Kybele, but commonly as an 
aged woman, with pointed ears, holding a serpent in her hand. 
The offspring of Fatua and Fatuus were the Fatui, who were 
considered to be prophetic deities of the fields, and sometimes 
evil genii, who were the cause of nightmares and such like. 
The name and obscure significations of this goddess seem to 
have given rise to the fantastic creations of modern times, which 
we call Fays — that is, beings with the power of witchcraft and 
prophecy, and possessed now with good, now with bad quali- 
ties, — now useful and helping to men, now mischievous. 



(plate XIX.,) 

Like the Roman Silvanus, belong to the order of forest 
deities, and are often confounded with the Panes and Fauni, 
though quite distinct from them. They represented the genial, 
luxuriant life in Nature, which, under the protection and with 
the aid of Dionysos (Bacchus), spreads over fields, woods and 
meadows, and were, without doubt, the finest figures in all his 
company. As such at least they appear in the art of the best 
times, being never figured, like the j.nes or Paniski, as half 
man, half animal, but at most exhibit only such signs of an 
animal form, as small goat's horns, and a small goat's tail, to 
show that their nature was only a little inferior in nobility to 
that within the divine or pure human form. 

The Satyrs constitute a large family, and may be distin- 
guished into several classes, the highest of which were those 
who nearly resembled their god (Dionysos) in appearance, 
and whose occupation was either to play on the flute for his 
amusement, or to pour out his wine. To another class be- 
longed those older figures, distinguished by the name of 
Sileni ; and to a third, the very juvenile so-called Satyriski. 
The figure given in Plate XIX. is that of a satyr of the high- 
est order. He is represented as a slender youth leaning care- 
lessly on the trunk of a tree, resting from playing on a flute. 
His hair is shaggy; on his brow are very small goat's horns. 
His countenance has a touch of animal expression in it. He 
wears nothing but a ncbris or panther's skin thrown over his 

The life of the Satyrs was spent in woods and on hills, 


in a constant round of amusements of all kinds : hunting, 
dancing, music, drinking, gathering and pressing the grapes, 
or in the company of the god, whirling in wild dances with 
the Maenads. Their musical instruments were the syrinx, flute, 
and cymbals. 

We may remark in passing, that the term '^satire," com- 
monly applied to poems of abuse, has nothing whatever to 
do with the Satyrs, and for this reason should not be written 
*' satyre," though derived from satura. The latter is^n, old 
Latin word, which signified originally a poetic dialogue or 
gossip, which from its nature was admirably adapted for con- 
veying criticism and indirect abuse, or satire in our sense 
of the word. 


Was worshipped as guardian of festal banquets, of mirthful 
enjoyments, of lively humour, fun, and social pleasure, with 
attributes expressing joy in many ways. On the other hand, 
he was represented frequently as an illustration of the conse- 
quences of nightly orgies, with torch reversed, in drunken 
sleep, or leaning against something. 


Like Faunus, was purely a Roman god, whose function 
also was to watch over the interests of herdsmen, living in 
woods and fields, and taking care to preserve boundary lines 
and banks of rivers. It was said that he erected the first 
boundary stones to mark off the fields of different possessors 
from each other, and thus became the founder of a regular 
system of landowning. He was distinguished according to 



the three departments of his activity, house, field, and wood. 
In works of art Silvanus appears altogether as a purely 
human figure — a cheerful aged man holding a shepherd's pipe, 
(for he, like the other deities of wood and field, was given to 
music,) and carrying a branch of a tree to mark him specially 
as god of the forest. This branch, which sometimes is that 
of a cypress, is explained as referring to his love for the beauti- 
ful Cyparissus, whom he is said to have changed into a 
cypress. There was a figure of Silvanus in Rome beside the 
temple of Saturn, and two sanctuaries dedicated to him. 
Women were excluded from his worship. The myths are not 
clear about his origin. Some of them describe him as a son 
of Saturn. 


Was worshipped originally in Sicily, and afterwards by the 
Romans, as a deity of cattle-rearing, being, according to some, 
male, according to others, female. A merry festival, called 
Palilia, was held in honour of this deity every year on the 
2ist of April, the day on which the foundation of the city of 
Rome was said to have been laid. Offerings of milk and 
must were presented to her, while pipes were played and cym- 
bals beat round a blazing fire of hay and straw. An ox was 
driven through this blazing fire, the herdsmen rushing after 
it, a ceremony intended for a symbol of expiation. This fes- 
tival, because of its falling on the anniversary of the founda- 
tion of the city, served also to commemorate that event. 

This ancient deity was represented as an aged woman lean- 
ing on a leafless branch of a tree, or holding a shepherd's 
crook in her hand, and was frequently identified with Fauna, 
sometimes with Kybele, and even with Vesta. 



In some of the myths Silenos is represented as a son of 
Hermes (Mercury,) in others, of Pan and a nymph, the 
latter statement accounting for his being figured with the tail 
and ears of a goat, while the rest of his form was purely hu- 
man. He was usually described as the oldest of the Satyrs, 
— of whom, indeed, all those well advanced in years were 
styled Sileni. Owing to his age, he came to be lookedT^on 
as a sort of paternal guardian of the light-headed troops of 
Satyrs, though, with regard to mythological signification, he 
was quite different from them. One myth traces his origin, 
along with the worship of Dionysos (Bacchus), to Asia Minor, 
and particularly to the districts of Lydia and Phrygia, the 
original centre of the worship of Kybele (Rhea.) In that 
quarter he was looked on as a sprite or daemon of fertilizing 
fountains, streams, marshy land, and luxuriant gardens, as 
well as the inventor of such music as was produced by the 
syrinx (Pan's pipe) and the double flute which was used in 
the worship of Rhea and Dionysos. 

According to other stories, he was born in and was the first 
king of Nysa, but which of the many places of that name re- 
mains untold. It was most probably Nysa in Thrace; for 
Silenos, with the help of local nymphs, nursed and tended 
the infancy of Dionysos, as works of art show, and this, ac- 
cording to the myths, was spent in Thrace. 

To the Greek mind he appeared specially as a companion 
of Dionysos, one who knew how to press the grapes for wine, 
and so much loved that liquid as readily to indulge in it to 
excess, in which case the Satyrs kept him steady on his ass. 


or else he would have fallen. To express this feature of his 
character, he was figured with a wreath of vine tendrils on his 
head, with a drinking-cup or wine-skin in his hand, or intoxi- 
cated and supported by two Satyrs. He was a short, round- 
bellied, hairy old man, with a bald head. 

The ass or mule he used to ride was described as a most in- 
telligent beast, and said to have distinguished itself at the 
time of the war with the Giants, in which its master, as com- 
panion and body-servant, a sort of Sancho Panza, to Dionysos, 
took part, by braying so loudly as to alarm the Giants, and 
help to put them to flight. 


Okeanos, a son of Uranos and Gaea, was god of the sea, 
and, like Nereus, was looked upon as the father of a large 
family of marine deities who went by the general name of 
Okeanides (see below). He was figured like Nereus, but with 
the addition of a bull's horn, or two short horns, a sceptre in 
his hand to indicate his power, riding on a monster of the deep, 
or sitting with his wife, Tethys, by his side in a car drawn by 
creatures of the sea. He is said to have been the most upright 
of his brother Titans, and to have had no share in the con- 
spiracy against Uranos. For this reason he retained his office, 
while the other Titans were consigned to Tartaros. It was 
under the care of Okeanos and his wife that Hera grew up, 
and to them she turned for safety during the war with the 
Titans. So quickly had his offspring spread among the rivers, 
streams, and fountains of the earth, that the sons alone were 
reckoned as three thousand in number. He was also identified 
with the great stream, Okeanos, which was supposed to flow in 



a circle round the earth, and to be the source of all rivers and 
running waters. His daughters, the Okeanides, were, like all 
marine deities, represented with crowns of sea-weeds, strings of 
corals, holding shells, and riding on dolphins. Painters ren- 
dered them as half human and half fish in shape ; but poets 
described them as beings of purely human form, giving their 
number very differently. 

Proteus was a son of Okeanos and Tethys, whose pro- 
per dwelling-place was the depths of the sea, which he only 
left for the purpose of taking the sea-calves of Poseidon to 
graze on the coasts and islands of the Mediterranean. Being an 
aged man, he was looked on as possessed of prophetic power 
and the secrets of witchcraft, though he would not be persuaded 
to exercise the former except by deceit or under threat of vio- 
lence. Even then he made every effort to evade his questioners, 
changing himself into a great variety of shapes, such as those 
of a lion, panther, swine or serpent, and, as a last resource, 
into the form of fire or water. This faculty of transformation, 
which both Proteus and Thetis possessed, corresponds with 
the great changeability in the appearance of the sea. 


Or Dorides, as they were sometimes called, are frequently 
confounded in mythology with Okeanos and his daughters, 
the Okeanids, all of them being marine deities of a lower 

Nereus was looked on as an ancient sea-god, a son of 
Pontos and Gaea, who, when the dominion of the sea fell to 
Poseidon, obtained a position under him, and along with it the 
power of prophecy. With Doris, his wife, he had as off*spring 
fifty, or, according to other accounts, a hundred daughters, 


called Nereides or Dorides, of whom Amphitrite and 
Thetis, and next to them Panope and Galatea, were the 
most famous, the first mentioned having become the wife of 
Poseidon, while even Zeus desired to marry the second. But 
the Fates having announced that from this marriage would 
issue a son who would surpass his father in might, Zeus re- 
linquished his wish, and gave Thetis in marriage to Peleus, 
to whom she bore Achilles, and thereafter returned to live 
among her sisters of the sea. 

Nereus is represented in works of art as an old man with 
a look of dignity, his daughters as sweet, beautiful maidens. 
Poets described them as modest nymphs dwelling in a splendid 
cave at the bottom of the sea, now riding on dolphins or other 
creatures of the deep, now swimming, sporting, splashing about 
in troops on the sea, sometimes accompanying the sea-born 
Aphrodite, or playing in the warm sunshine on the shores 
of bays and at rivers' mouths, drying their wet tresses. In such 
places they were duly worshipped. To the pious feeling of 
the Greeks the whole of nature appeared in some way divine, 
and was accordingly viewed with reverence and sanctity. In 
this spirit the phenomena of the sea were viewed under the 
form of divine personifications called Nereides, the peaceful 
shimmering light upon its gently moving bosom being repre- 
sented by Galene and Glauke, the play of fantastic waves 
by Thoe and Halie, the impetuous rush of billows on island 
shores by Nesaie and Aktsee, the fascination of the gaily 
rising tide by Pasithea, Erato, and Euneike, the swell 
and impulse of mighty waves by Pherusa and Dynamene, 
who all followed in the train of Amphitrite. 

It may be that these myths gave rise to the modern legends 
of mermaids. 



(plate XX.) 

Triton, sometimes said to be a son of Poseidon and Am- 
phitrite, sometimes of Okeanos and Tethys, was a marine 
deity of a lower order, and the herald of Neptune, in which 
capacity he was represented using a long twisted shell as a 
horn to blow a loud blast from when the sea was to be 
agitated with storms, and a gentle note when a storm was to 
be hushed into rest. When Neptune travelled on the waves, 
it was Triton who announced his approach, and summoned 
the other marine deities. The Tritons were like him in figure, 
and had similar duties to perform. Occasionally we find him 
described in stories as a monster who, by his wantonness and 
voracity, rendered the sea-shore dangerous, and was in con- 
sequence attacked by Dionysos and Herakles. 

In the war with the Giants he rendered considerable service 
to Zeus, by raising such a frightful din with his shrill trumpet, 
that the Giants, fearing the approach of some powerful mon- 
ster, or some fresh danger, retired. 

Triton and the Tritons were represented in works of art as 
beings of human form down to the hips, covered with small 
scales, holding a sea-shell in their hands, the lower part of them 
formed by the body and tail of a dolphin. Triton was also 
described as driving on the sea in a chariot drawn by horses. 

Plate XX. represents a family group of Tritons with a 
dolphin in the background. 

In the early myths concerning Triton, he appears as the per- 
sonification of the roaring sea, and, like Neptune and Amphi- 
trite, lived in a golden palace in the depths of the ocean. 





Was regarded by sailors and those who travelled on the sea as 
their special and friendly goddess, a character which she dis- 
played in her timely assistance of Odysseus in his dangerous 
voyage. She is said to have been a daughter of Kadmos, 
the great-grandson of Poseidon. Originally the wife of 
Athamas, in which capacity she bore the name of Ino, she 
had incurred the wrath of Hera, because she had suckled the 
infant Bakchos, a son of her sister Semele and of Zeus, and 
for this was pursued by her raving husband, and thrown, along 
with her youngest son, Melikertes, into the sea, from which 
both mother and child were saved by a dolphin or by Nerei- 
des. From that time she took her place as a marine deity, 
and, under the name of Leukothea, was known as the pro- 
tector of all travellers by sea, while her son came to be wor- 
shipped as god of harbours, under the name of Palaemon. 
Her worship, especially at Corinth, the oldest maritime town 
of importance in Greece, and in the islands of Rhodes, Tene- 
dos, and Crete, as well as in the coast towns generally, was 
traced back to a high antiquity. 


(plate XX.) 

According to one version of the myth, were daughters of the 
river-god Acheloos (hence their other name, Acheloides) 
and a Muse. According to another version, they were 
daughters of Phorkys. In either case they had been nymphs 
and playmates of Persephone, and for not protecting her 
when she was carried off by Pluto were transformed by Deme- 


ter into beings half woman and half bird at first, and latterly 
with the lower part of the body in the shape of a fish, so that 
they had some resemblance to marine deities such as the Tri- 

Plate XX. represents a Siren, half bird and half woman 
in form, playing on a double flute. 

In the Homeric poems their number is not specified. In 
later times the names of three of them are commonly given : 
Parthenope, Ligeia, and Leukosia. It is said that once, 
during the time when the greater part of their body was that 
of a bird, they challenged the Muses to a competition in 
singing, but failed, and were punished by having the prin- 
cipal feathers of their wings plucked by the Muses, who 
decked themselves with them. 

The common belief was that the Sirens inhabited the cliffs 
of the islands lying between Sicily and Italy, and that the 
sweetness of their voices bewitched passing mariners, compell- 
ing them to land only to meet their death. Skeletons lay 
thickly strewn around their dwelling ; for they had obtained 
the right to exercise this cruel power of theirs on men so long 
as no crew succeeded in defying their charms. This the Ar- 
gonauts, of whom more will be said hereafter, were the first 
to accomplish, by keeping their attention fixed on the unsur- 
passably sweet music of their companion, Orpheus. The 
next who passed safely was Odysseus. He had taken the 
precaution, on approaching, to stop the ears of his crew, so 
that they might be deaf to the bewitching music, and to have 
himself firmly bound to the mast, so that, while hearing the 
music, he would not be able to follow its allurements. In this 
way the power of the Sirens came to an end, and in despair 
they cast themselves into the sea, and were changed into cliffs. 


This transformation helps to explain the signification of the 
myth of the Sirens, who were i)robably personifications of 
liidden banks and sliallows, where the sea is smooth and invit- 
ing to the sailor, but proves in the end the destruction of his 
shij). The alluring music ascribed to them may either refer to 
the soft melodious murmur of waves, or be simply a figurative 
expression for allurement. 


Were as a rule looked upon as sons of Okeanos, exercising a 
dominion over individual rivers. They were represented as 
bearded men, crowned with sedge, and often with horns on 
their heads, reclining and resting one hand on a rudder, the 
other on a vase, out of which water flows, to indicate the con- 
stant flow of a river. 

The names of many of them have been handed down in an- 
cient myths, the most important being Alpheios, Acheloos, 
Peneis, Asopos, Kephissos. Of Alpheios, it is said that 
he loved Arethusa, one of the myths in the train of Arte- 
mis, and so persistently followed her, though his affections 
were not returned, that Artemis interfered, and changed the 
nymph, to avoid his pursuit, into a fountain, the waters of 
which, notwithstanding, were said to join those of Alpheios. 


(plate XXI.) 

The restless and fertile imagination of the ancients peopled 
with beings of a higher order than themselves every mountain, 
valley, plain, and forest, every thicket, bush, and tree, every 


fountain, stream, and lake. These beings, in wliose existence 
Ixjtli (ireeks and Romans firmly Ixjlievcd, were called 
Nymphs, and resembled in many respects the mermaids and 
fairies of modern suixjrstition. 

Generally speaking, the Nymphs were a kind of middle 
beings between the gods and men, communicating with both, 
loved and respected by both; gifted with the i)ower of making 
themselves visible or invisible at pleasure; able to do many 
things only i)ermitted to be done by the gods; living like the 
gods, on ambrosia; leading a cheerful happy life of long 
duration, and retaining strength and youthfulness to the last, 
but not destined to immortality, like the gods. In extraordi- 
nary cases they were summoned, it was believed, to the coun- 
cils of the (Jlympian gods, but usually remained in their 
particular spheres, in secluded grottoes and peaceful valleys, 
occupied in spinning, weaving, bathing, singing sweet songs, 
dancing, sj)orting, or accompanying deities who passed through 
their territories, hunting with Artemis (Diana), rushing 
a])ont willi Dionysos (Bacchus) making merry with Apollo 
or Hermes (Mercury), but always in a hostile attitude to- 
wards the wanton and excited Satyrs. 

Even the earliest of the ancient myths abound with accounts 
of the various things done by nymphs, while poetic fancy in 
later times delighted to play with such creations. The Greeks, 
the great mass of them at any rate, believed firmly in the exist- 
ence of a vast niuTiber of nymphs, and attested their ])elief by 
erecting frecpiently very costly altars in i)la(es wliere the pres- 
ence and influence of these beings were felt, — as by fountains, 
or in moist meadows, in woods, and on hills. Grottoes and 
caves where water dripped or flowed, and where the bees 
hummed, were sacred to them. Sanctuaries, called Nym- 

NYMPHS. 153 

phaea, were also crecteil for their si)e(ial honour in well 
watered valleys, caves, and even in towns. Those in towns 
being particularly splendid in appearance, and commonly em- 
ployed for the ceremonies of marriage. The sacrifices pre- 
sented to them ( onsisted of goats, lambs, milk, and oil, wine 
being forbidden. 

As to the origin of the Nymphs, the stories are so many 
and so different that they cann(H be all given here. Very many 
of these beings, it would seem, were the offs[)ring of Zeus and 
Thetis. Separating them in the most convenient manner, 
according to their local habitaticjns or repented origin, we have 
the following classes: — 

1. Dryads, or Hamadryads, also called Alseids, 
nymphs of woods and trees, inhabiting groves, ravines, and 
wooded valleys, fond of making merry with Apollo, Hermes 
(Mercury), and Pan, and very attractive to the Satyrs. 
Sometimes they appeared as rustic huntresses or shepherdesses. 

2. Oreads, or mountain-nymphs, sometimes also named 
after the i)articular mountains which they haunted, as Peliads 
(from Pelion), Idaian (from Idaj, Kithixironian (from Kithai- 
ron), etc. 

3. Limoniads, or Leimoniads, nymplis of meadows and 

4. Napaeae, or Auloniads, nymi)hs of the mountain vales 
in which herds grazed. The last three families of nymphs 
were usually found in the company of Pan, rushing gaily and 
merrily over hills and valleys, through woods and meadows. 
A favourite and lovely nymph of the vales was Eurydike, 
who, being bitten by a snake, and dying in c()nse(iuence, w:i,s 
mourned by all her sisters, and sung by Orpheus in most 
touching melancholy strains. 


5. Okeanids, daughters of Okeanos, nymphs of fountains 
and streams, and named according to the characteristics of 
streams, — as Prymno, "like a cascade which falls over an 
abrupt height" ; Hippo, "like a swift current" ; Plexaure, 
"like a dashing brook"; Galaxaure, "like the refreshing 
coolness of a shady stream" ; Kalypso, "like the hidden 
tide"; Rhodeia, " flowing among rose-trees" ; Kallirrhoe, 
"like a beautiful stream"; Melolosis, "like a river that 
waters the meadows" ; Telesto, "nymph of the cool springs," 
which the Greeks piously used for cleansing and purification. 

6. Nereids, daughters of Nereus, sometimes also called 
Dorids, after their mother (see Nereus). 

7. Naiads, — generally speaking, nymphs of the liquid 
element, daughters of Zeus. They were styled "fostering" 
nymphs, and for this reason were commonly found in the 
company of Zeus, Poseidon, and Dionysos, as well as of 
Demeter, Persephone, and Aphrodite, and besides were 
looked on as deities of marriage and sacred rites. 

8. Potamids, nymphs of the rivers. 

9. Limnads, nymphs of lakes, marshes, and swamps, most 
dangerous beings, who allured and misled travellers by their 
songs or mimic screams for help. 

10. Pleiads, seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, sis- 
ters of the Hyads. 

11. Atlantids, offspring of Atlas, and belonging to the 
same order as the last mentioned. 

12. Hyads, according to the myth, daughters of Atlas and 
^thra; sisters, or, according to other versions, daughters 
of Hyas. Languishing of grief at the death of Hyas, which 
was caused by a wild animal, they were changed into stars, 
being the seven stars which form the head in the constellation 


of the Bull (Taurus). Their ascension takes place from the 
17th to the 2ist of May, and usually indicates rain, for which 
reason they were often called the rainy stars. They were also 
called Dodonids, and described as the nurses of Zeus of 
Dodona. One of them was called Thyene. 

All the most prominent of the nymphs had names of their 

They were represented as damsels of wonderful beauty, with 
attributes suitable to their respective avocations. 

Plate XXI. represents three of them tending Pegasos at 
a fountain- All three have their hair bound with sedge ; two 
of them have vases. 


Echo was a mountain-nymph, and at the same time a servant 
of Hera, according to one account, but had to be kept at a 
distance on account of her talkativeness. In other accounts 
she is described as a beautiful nymph whom the forest-god 
Pan loved. Happening to meet the beautiful Narkissos, 
a son of the river-god Kephissos, she conceived a very 
tender passion for him, which he unfortunately did not return. 
Echo grieved in consequence, and pined away day by day till 
at length her voice was all that was left of her. She then took 
to the mountains and woods which Pan frequented, and 
occupied herself in mimicking every vocal sound she heard. 
Narkissos was a personification of the consequences of 
self-conceit in the matter of personal appearance, his vanity 
being such that he used to idle by the brinks of clear fountains, 
and gaze upon the reflection of his own face, till at last he 
languished in his unreturned love for it. Other stories affirm 


that he was punished for this conduct by the gods, by being 
changed into the flower which still bears his name. 


Were daughters of Atlas, an enormous giant, who, as the 
ancients believed, stood upon the western confines of the earth, 
and supported the heavens on his shoulders. Their mother 
was Hesperis, a personification of the ^' region of the West," 
where the sun continued to shine after he had set on Greece, 
and where, as travellers told, was an abundance of choice 
delicious fruits, which could only have been produced by a 
special divine influence. The Gardens of the Hesperides 
with the golden apples were believed to exist in some island 
in the ocean, or, as it was sometimes thought, in the islands 
on the north or west coast of Africa. They were far-famed in 
antiquity ; for it was there that springs of nectar flowed by 
the couch of Zeus, and there that the earth displayed the 
rarest blessings of the gods : it was another Eden. As know- 
ledge increased with regard to western lands, it became 
necessary to move this paradise farther and farther out into 
the Western Ocean. 

As to the origin of these precious golden apples, there is a 
myth which says that among the deities who attended the mar- 
riage ceremony of Zeus and Hera, bringing various presents 
with them, was Titsea, a goddess of the earth, whose gift con- 
sisted in her causing a tree to spring up with golden apples on it. 
The care of this tree, which highly pleased the newly-wedded 
pair, was entrusted to the Hesperides. But, as they could not 
resist the temptation to pluck and eat its fruit, it became 
necessary to place the serpent Ladon to watch it. Herakles, 


among his other adventures, slew this serpent and carried off 
some of the apples, which, however, were afterwards returned 
to the Hesperides, through the kindness of Athene. 

The common account speaks of only three Hesperides, — 
JEg\G, Erytheis and Hespere. Arethusa was afterwards 
added, and in time three more, so that they were seven in all. 


Or Pierides, as they were also styled, were regarded as nymphs 
of the springs that bickered down the sides of Mount Helikon 
and Mount Parnassos, called Kastalia, Aganippe, and 
Pimpla or Pimplea, the waters of which were thought to have 
the property of inspiration. Their origin was traced to Zeus 
and the Titanic nymph Mnemosyne, the name of Pierides 
being applied to them from Pieria, on Mount Olympos, 
the reputed place of their birth, a locality which appears to 
have been originally the principal centre of their worship, 
whence it spread first and most conspicuously to Mount Heli- 
kon, in Boeotia, and farther to Athens, Sparta, Troezene, and 
elsewhere. It was usual to ascribe this extension of the worship 
of the Muses to a Thracian named Pieros, of whom it was also 
said that, having nine daughters, he named them each after one 
of the Muses, and challenged the latter to a competition in 
music, the upshot of which was that his daughters lost the 
award, and were, as a punishment for their daring, transformed 
into singing-birds. The worship of the Muses on Mount 
Helikon was celebrated in a grove, in which were the sacred 
fountains of Aganippe and Hippokrene,with many monu- 
ments of art dedicated to the Muses, contests called Museia 
being associated with the ceremonies. 


The nine Muses whom we are accustomed to read of in the 
Greek and Roman mythology, were looked upon as the patron 
goddesses of music and song, of poetry, and of the fine arts 
generally, that tended to promote the civilization of mankind. 
Their local habitation was on the summits of Mounts Helikon, 
Parnassos, and Pindos. They would, however, frequently 
visit Olympos, to gladden the blessed existence of the gods 
there by the exercise of their arts, especially by music and the 
recital of songs, the burden of which was probably, as on most 
other occasions, the glory and omnipotence of Zeus. Some^ 
times they would lend their presence also to enliven happy 
incidents in the lives of favourite mortals — such, for example, 
as the marriage of Kadmos and Harmonia, or that of Peleus 
and Thetis ; and sometimes even at moments of great sorrow, 
as at the death of Achilles, they would descend to mourn in 
strains which drew forth tears from gods and men. Their 
leader was Apollo, who in that capacity bore the title of Mu- 
sagetes. But though generally associated with Apollo, and 
probably therefore .imbued with the form of ir^spiration pecu- 
liar to the god of oracles, they are also found to have been 
connected with the worship of Dionysos, whose inspiration 
is known to have been of a wild and excited nature. As nymphs 
of the sacred streams on the mountains where they lived, their 
music and song must, for the sake of harmony, have repeated 
the rushing movement of water, and it may be to this that 
their association with Dionysos is due. 

In addition to the usual nine we hear of three other Muses, 
Melete, Mneme, and Aoedte, who are described as daugh- 
ters of Uranos, and supposed to have existed from the earliest 
times. As, however, both Homer and Hesiod appear to know 
only the number nine, we may assume that the belief in the 






existence of the other three must have originated in the specu- 
lations of comparatively later times. 

In works of art of the earlier period the Muses were always 
represented together in company, all wearing the same kind 
of dress, and all provided with attributes in the forms of musi- 
cal instruments — such as the lyre, harp, and flute, or with 
rolls of manuscript. The custom of collecting in such rolls 
literary v/orks produced under the auspices of the Muses was 
the first foundation of libraries and museums, such as they 
exist in modern times, and thus the word "museum" carries 
us back to the early worship of the Muses, and to the early 
civilization so far as it was due to their inspiration. 

The nine Muses were represented according to their various 
avocations in the following manner: — 

1. Klio (Plate XXII.), the muse of History, seated wearing 
a wreath of laurel, and holding out a half-open inscribed 
parchment roll ', beside her a cylindrical box, containing more 
of these manuscripts. In other cases she appears standing, 
holding a roll of manuscript in one hand, an instrument for 
WTiting with in the other. 

2. Melpomene, (Plate XXII.), the muse of Tragedy, a 
serious, dignified figure, standing with her left foot raised on 
a rock, holding in her right hand a mask, such as was worn 
by tragedians, and in her left apparently a small roll of a part 
in a play; her long robe or tunic is girt under her breast, and 
falls in wide folds ; from her shoulder a mantle or peplos falls 
carelessly. In other cases she wears a diadem or a wreath of 
cypress, and holds a short sword or a club in her hand. 

3. Thalia (Plate XXII.), the muse of Comedy and Bur- 
lesque, standing, clad in a robe or tunic, over which is a 
mantle, with a fringe, thrown over the left shoulder, and 


wrapped round the legs, leaving the right arm free; in her 
right hand a shepherd's crook, in the other a mask, such as 
was worn by actors in the Satyric plays. 

4. Kalliope (Plate XXIII.), the muse of Heroic Poems, 
and looked on as the chief of the Muses, on which account 
she sometimes appears as their representative; seated, holding 
a writing tablet and a stylus. In other cases she is standing, 
crowned with a wreath, and holding a manuscript roll in her 
hand, or a pipe {tuba) round which a branch of laurel is twined. 

5. Urania (Plate XXIV.), the muse of Astronomy, seated 
beside a globe, holding a pair of compasses in one hand, 
while with the other she points upwards towards the heavens. 
In other cases she wears a crown of stars, and holds a lyre, 
her eyes turned towards the stars, and pointing out at the same 
time something on a globe beside her. 

6. Euterpe (Plate XXIV.), the muse of the art of Music, 
the "giver of pleasure," as her name implies, standing, play- 
ing on a double flute. In other cases she plays on other 

7. Polyhymnia, or Polymnia (Plate XXIV.), the muse 
of Song and of Oratory, her name signifying '' rich in song," 
was also described as the inventor of myths, on which account 
she was represented in the attitude of contemplation, with one 
fifiger raised to her lips ; on her head a laurel wreath. In 
other cases she appears in a quiet, attentive, observant mood, 
leaning forward on a pillar, her arms concealed under her 
drapery, and wearing at times a veil, to indicate the hidden 
truths within the myths, while her posture was intended to 
indicate the process of revolving the meaning of them. For 
this reason she was also viewed as the goddess of serious and 
sacred poems and hymns. 






Mother of the Muses. 







8. Erato (Plate XXV.), the muse of Love and Marriage 
Songs, wearing a wreath, and playing on a large lyre with 
mony strings. In other cases she appears holding a lyre by 
her side in one hand, and in the other an arrow or a wreath 
of myrtle and roses. 

9. Terpsichore (Plate XXV.), the muse of Dancing, 
wearing a wreath, and playing on a lyre. At other times she 
holds cymbals, has her robe girt up, and appears in the atti- 
tude of dancing. 

The mother of the Muses was called, as has already been 
stated, Mnemosyne, that is, " Memory," and especially the 
memory or recollection of great events, such as the war with 
the Titans, that was said to have occurred at the commence- 
ment of the world's history, and must continue to occur until 
the universe is brought into perfect harmony. In later times 
she caitie to be viewed merely as goddess of memory, and 
worshipped along with the Muses. 

Plate XXIII. represents her standing in a quiet, thoughtful 
attitude, both arms under her drapery, to indicate the silent 
mysterious action of memory. 

It was the custom of the muses to play, under the leader- 
ship of Apollo, at the banquets and marriage ceremonies 
among the gods, while the Horae, Charites (Graces), Aphro- 
dite, and other deities given to mirth and gaiety, danced. In 
this fashion the ancients represented under the form of persons 
the union of joy, music, poetry, dance, and merriment. 



(plate XXVI.,) 

Goddess of the rainbow, was a daughter of Thaumas and 
Elektra, a grand-daughter of Okeanos and Gaea, and a 
sister of the Harpies. As messenger of Hera and Zeus, she 
lived among the other deities of Olympos, which she only left 
for the purpose of conveying the divine commands to mankind, 
by whom she was looked on as a guide and adviser. She tra- 
velled with the speed of wind always, from one end of the 
world to the other, could penetrate to the bottom of the sea, 
or to the Styx, and in this respect formed a female counterpart 
of Hermes (Mercury) in his capacity of messenger of the 
gods, she holding much the same position towards Hera as he 
did towards Zeus. • 

It was Iris, the ancients believed, who charged the clouds 
with water from lakes and rivers, in order that they might let 
it fall again upon the earth in gentle fertilizing showers ; and, 
accordingly, when her bow appeared in the clouds the farmer 
welcomed it as a sign of rain to quicken his fields, and gladly 
paid honours to the goddess whose presence he recognized in 
the rainbow with its splendid colours. 

She was represented as a beautiful virgin with wings of 
varied hue, in robes of bright colours, and riding on a rainbow ; 
at other times with a nimbus on her head, in which the colours 
of the rainbow were reflected. 

Plate XXVI. gives a figure of her standing, clad in a long 
robe, holding in one hand a herald's staff, such as Hermes, 
also carries (caduceus), and in the other a helmet. 


^.OLOS. 163 


Was the son of a king named Hippotes, and lived on one of 
the abrupt rocky Lipara islands close to Sicily, along with his 
offspring, six sons and six daughters, who were married in 
pairs, and made life merry with their music. In the caves of 
tlic island were imprisoned the winds, ^olos letting them out 
in gales, or in a soft favouring breeze, at the will of the highei: 

The idea of the winds beings thus kept in a cavern under the 
restraint of a divine person, appears to have suggested itself to 
the ancients from the strong draught that is felt on entering a 
cave or subterraneous passage ; but whether the belief in the 
existence of such a personage reached back to primitive times, 
when mankind lived to a great extent in places of that kind, is 
not certain. The influence of ^olos was felt both genially 
and the reverse on land and on sea, but principally on sea, 
which he could more readily command from the island where 
he lived. 

As an instance of his kindliness to travellers by sea, we may 
here mention his hospitable reception of Odysseus (Ulysses) 
on that errant homeward voyage of his. On departing, ^olos 
gave him a great bag containing all the contrary winds, putting 
it on board the ship, so that he might reach Ithaca with a fair 
wind. Odysseus himself remained steadily and anxiously at 
the helm for several days, but his native land coming at length 
in sight, he sank overpowered with sleep. His followers ob- 
serving this proceeded to indulge their curiosity to see the 
costly presents which they fancied the bag contained, opened 
it, and out burst the imprisoned wind with a roar and a force 
that drove the ship again far out of her course. 


But besides this conception of the winds as mere elements in 
the hands of^olos, there was another which represented them 
as each personified by a separate divine being, living apart, 
and being directly under the control of Zeus and Poseidon. 


Of whom the principal were Boreas, the north wind, Euros, 
the east wind, Notos, the south wind, and Zephyros, the 
west wind, were, as we have previously said, the offspring of 
Eos and Astrseos, the parentage of fierce destructive winds 
being assigned to Typhon. According to another report, 
neither the origin nor the number of the deities of the winds 
was known, the prevalence in particular districts of winds 
blowing from this or that point between the four chief quar- 
ters, naturally giving rise to a set of personifications such as 
north-west wind, south-west wind, and others. 

The character and appearance ascribed to each of these 
deities was, as usual in Greek mythology, such as was suggested 
by the phenomena of each wind — as, for example, the strength 
and fury of the north wind, or the genial warmth of the south- 
west. Some were thought to be male, some female, and all 
winged. Euros, who brought warmth and rain from the 
east, was represented holding a vase inverted, as if pouring 
rain from it. Lips, who from the south-east wafted home the 
ships as they neared the harbour of Peiraeus at Athens, held 
the ornament from a ship's stern in her hands. Zephyros, 
coming from the warm, mild west, was lightly clad, and car- 
ried a quantity of flowers in his scarf. Apeliotes, the south- 
east wind, carried fruits of many kinds, wore boots, and was 


not so lightly clad as the last mentioned. So they were rep- 
resented on the "Tower of the Winds " at Athens. 

Though the winds were looked on as each under the control 
of a separate divine being, whose favour it was necessary to 
retain by sacrifice, no particular story or myth is told of any 
one of these persons excepting Boreas and Zephyros, the rival 
lovers of Chloris (Flora), Zephyros being the successful suitor. 
Boreas carried off, it was said, Oreithyia, the beautiful 
daughter of Kckrops, king of Attica; and remembering this, 
the Athenians in their distress, when the Persians advanced 
the first time against Greece, called upon him for aid, which 
he rendered by sending a terrible north wind, which overtook 
the Persian fleet near the promontory of Athos, scattering and 
largely destroying it. From that time the Athenians had an 
altar to him, and offered sacrifice at it for their preservation. 

The scene of Boreas carrying off Oreithyia is represented on 
a beautiful bronze relief found at Calymna, and now in the 
British Museum. The wind-god is powerful in form, bearded, 
but still young, and wearing thick high boots, and a mantle 
thrown across his body. 


Eos was a daughter of the Titan pair, Theia and Hyperion ; 
the latter, to judge from the meaning of his name, having been 
at one time god of the sun, "who travels high above earth." 
Helios and Selene, the deities of sun and moon, were her 
brother and sister, while she herself was a personification of 
the dawn of morning. A fresh wind was felt at her approach, 
the morning star still lingered in the sky, and ruddy beams 
"shot the orient through with gold"; and because these 


beams appeared like outspread fingers, she was called "rosy- 
fingered Morn." The star and the winds of the morning, 
Zephyros, Boreas, Notos, and Euros, were her offspring 
by Astrseos, the god of starlight. The moon and the other 
stars vanished gradually as she advanced, but Helios followed 
her closely. To poets she seemed to lift the veil of night with 
rose-tinted fingers, and to rise in the east out of the ocean in 
a car with four white steeds, shedding light upon the earth. 
Others imagined her coming riding on the winged horse, Pe- 
gasos, which Zeus had given her after Bellerophon's failure 
to ride on it up to Olympos. 

She loved all fresh young life, and showed special favour to 
those persons whose active spirit led them abroad in the 
morning to hunt or to make war. When struck with the 
beauty of a youth she would carry him off, and obtain immor- 
tal life for him, as she did with Kleitos, Orion, Kephalos, 
and Tithonos. So it appeared to the Greeks, who recognised 
in the brief duration of the freshness and glow of morning a 
comparison with the early death of promising and beautiful 
youth, and from the comparison proceeded to construct a 
myth which should trace both to the same divine cause. 

Tithonos became her husband, and she lived with him 
pleasantly beside the Okeanos so long as his youth and beauty 
lasted. Unfortunately, in obtaining immortality for him from 
Zeus, she had omitted to add to her request, '^and eternal 
youth." When white hairs showed themselves on his head 
she was not the same to him as before, though still supplying 
him with ambrosia and fine raiment. But he became quite 
helpless at last, and, to avoid the sight of his decrepitude, she 
shut him up in a chamber, where only his voice was heard like 
the chirp of a grasshopper, into which creature, it was said, 



he became transformed. By the story of Tithonos we would 
understand day, in its eternally returning course, fresh and 
beautiful at dawn, wearied and worn at the close. 

Of Kephalos it is said that from love to his wife, Prokris, 
he resolutely withstood the advances of Aura, the goddess 
of the morning wind, and that the latter in revenge stirred up 
discord between him and his wife. Another version of the 
story is, that Aura caused him to kill his wife by mistake when 
out on the chase. Prokris, it would seem, jealous of her hus- 
band's meetings with the goddess, had secreted herself in a 
thicket to watch them ; but happening to stir, Kephalos caught 
the noise, and suspecting it to be caused by some lurking 
animal, hurled his spear, and slew his wife. 

Eos and Tithonos had two sons, Memnon and Emathion, 
the former widely celebrated for his beauty, and mourned for 
his early death at the hands of Achilles. His dead body was 
carried by his weeping mother to Ethiopia; and at Thebes, 
in Egypt, she erected in his memory, so story goes, that 
wonderful monument which, when the first rays of the morn- 
ing sun touched it, gave forth a sound like the snapping 
of a harp-string. , 

In art she was represented as a spirited maiden, with large 
wings, clad in robes of dazzling white and purple, a star or 
cap on her head, a torch in her hand, and driving in a chariot 
with four horses, or riding on Pegasos; at other times she 
appeared floating in the air, and pouring morning dew from a 
vessel down to the earth. 

In Plate XXVII. she is figured driving a quadriga with great 
speed, as is indicated by the flow of her drapery. The bulls' 
heads signify that the moon and stars are still in the sky. 
Lucifer precedes her with a torch. Flowers and plants, quick- 


ened by her dew, wake and raise their heads. In the British 
Museum is a beautiful example of early gem engraving, repre- 
senting a head of her. 

In other representations we find Hermes advancing before 
her, a duty which Lucifer, the morning star, and a favourite 
of Aphrodite and Hera also, most usually ^xirforms. 


Amor, or Cupido, as he was also called, was not, it should 
be noticed, a native Roman deity, but had been introduced 
from the mythology of the Greeks by poets, his name being 
a direct translation of the Greek Eros. It should further be 
observed that this translation presents an instance of the 
difference in character of these two ancient races ; the word 
for ^'love" among the Greeks being feminine, while its 
Roman equivalent was masculine. 

We must at the outset distinguish the double character of 
Erosj first, as we find him described taking part at the crea- 
tion of the world out of Chaos, and secondly, as a mere god 
of love, a son of Aphrodite and Zeus, or Ares, as some 
said, or even of Uranos. In the former phase of his charac- 
ter he is represented as sorting the shapeless mass of the world, 
with its conflicting elements, into order and harmony, dis- 
pelling confusion, uniting hitherto jarring forces, and making 
productive what was barren before. In the latter phase he is 
the deity who sways the passions of the heart both of gods and 
men. In the one case he was conceived as having existed 
before the other gods, as being the god of that love which 
operates in nature; and in the other case as the youngest born 
of them all, the god of that love which holds the hearts 

A Will 






Cupid and Psyche. 


Mars and Venus. 

EROS, OR amor: psyche. 169 

of men in tyranny. It seems to have been as a combination 
of both characters that Pheidias* represented him at the birth 
of Aphrodite, receiving her as she rose out of the sea, in 
presence of the assembled deities of Olympos. 

The chief and oldest centre of his worship was Thespiae, in 
Boeotia, where a festival called Erotidia was celebrated in his 
honour, and continued to be a source of attraction down to 
Roman times. Thence his worship spread to Sparta, Athens, 
Samos, and Crete, the Spartans and Cretans having a custom 
of sacrificing to him previous to the commencement of a bat- 
tle, in the belief that he was also the god of that patriotism or 
love of country which best unites an army. In Athens there 
was an altar to him and his counterpart, Anteros. 

In early times his worshippers at Thespiae were content with 
a rude stone as an image. But in later times, and in contrast 
with this, we find him the most attractive figure among the 
works of the second Attic school of sculptors, the school of 
Scopas and Praxiteles, f both of whom directed their splendid 
talents to adding fresh grace and beauty to his form. While 
artists rivalled each other to this end, poets were no less zeal- 
ous in singing his praises. In daily life his influence became 
more generally acknowledged. In the gymnasia where the 
youth practised athletics his statue was set up between Hermes 
and Herakles ; for he was then represented as lithe of limb 
and graceful of form — a model of ripening youth. As time 
went on, however, his figure became more and more that of 
the chubby boy who plays all manner of tricks with the hearts 
of men, with which we are most familiar. He was supposed 

* On the base of the statue of Zeus at Olympia. 

t The famous statue of him by Praxiteles was afterwards carried off to 
Rome, and is known to us through copies of it made by other sculptors. 


to exercise his influence over the hearts of deities as well ; and 
to show him in this light, he was represented at times now with 
the symbol of one god, now of another. 

To the later age of Hellenistic and Roman poetry and art 
belongs the touching story of Psyche — a personification, 
as she appears to have been, of a soul filled with the passion of 
love, and as such conceived under the form of a small winged 
maiden, or, at other times, as a butterfly which bore the same 
name. Psyche, the story runs, was a king's daughter, and most 
beautiful. The fame of her beauty awoke the jealousy of 
Aphrodite, who to get rid of the rival, charged her son Cupid 
to visit the prin.cess, and inspire her with love for some com- 
mon man. Cupid obeyed so far as to pay the visit, but being 
himself struck with the maiden's beauty, carried her ofl" to a 
fairy palace in a vale of paradise, where they spent happy 
hours together, with only this drawback, that she was not per- 
mitted to look upon her lover with her mortal eyes. Even this 
she would not have considered a drawback, had not her en- 
vious sisters stirred up her curiosity in the matter. Yielding 
to their temptation, she took one night a lamp, and stole into 
the chamber where the god lay asleep. Alarmed at the dis- 
covery she had made, she let a drop of hot oil fall upon his 
shoulder. He awoke, and charging her with disobedience to his 
express command, left her alone to her despair. She searched 
for him everywhere in vain, finding her way at last to the 
palace of Aphrodite, who after subjecting her to menial service 
of various kinds, finally ordered her to go down to the lower 
world, and fetch a box of beauty's ointment from Persephone. 
This most painful task she accomplished ; but, on opening the 
box, sank overpowered by its odour. Cupid could resist no 
longer, ran to her help, and brought her back to life. The 

EROS, OR amor: psyche. 171 

anger of Aphrodite was appeased, and the marriage of Cupid 
and Psyche was forthwith celebrated with great rejoicings, in 
presence of the higher gods, Psyche obtaining immortality. 

The purpose of the story is obviously to illustrate the three 
stages in the existence of a soul, — its pre-existence in a blessed 
btate, its existence on earth with its trials and anguish, and its 
future state of happy immortality. 

Plate XXVIII. represents the two embracing tenderly. 
Eros has laid aside his bow and quiver, with its dangerous 
arrows ; roses are strewn on the ground before them, and a 
shoot of a rose-tree grows behind to symbolize the sweetness 
and beauty of young love. Psyche has the wings of a butterfly, 
and links by which she may be chained on her ankles and 
arms. Behind her is a mirror. In the other figure Eros ap- 
pears riding on a lion, and playing on a lyre, the soft music of 
which soothes the savage beast, as love was supposed to 
soothe the fiercest temper. 

In works of art he is frequently to be seen in company of 
his mother Aphrodite, or playing with the Muses and Graces, 
or struggling with his opposite Anteros, or accompanied by 
Pothos, whose name, like the Roman Cupido, signifies a 
''desire of love," that is, a ''desire of union in love," and 
Himeros, a "soft yearning for love." In later times artists 
often surrounded Aphrodite, and occasionally also Dionysos, 
with troops of little winged figures of children, which we call 
Erotes or Amorettes. 

The word Psyche, signifying originally the "soul," came 
afterwards to mean also a "butterfly," — a likeness being ob- 
served between the manner in wliich a soul and a butterfl}-, 
freed from the body or chrysalis in which they have been con- 
fined on earth, rise on wing, and waft themselves in the light. 


The flame of love which often scorched the soul was compared 
with the torch which attracts the butterfly to its doom. When 
this happened, Eros turned away his face and wept. Such is 
the meaning of the allegory represented in Plate XXIX. Be- 
hind Eros stands Nemesis, holding a twig from an apple- 
tree, her customary attribute, and before him Elpis, or Hope, 
holding a lily. 


(plate XXVI.,) 

Was worshipped as the god of marriage both by the Greeks and 
the Romans. His origin is variously stated to have been now 
from Apollo and Kalliope, now from Dionysos and Aphrodite, 
while at other times he is said to have been by birth a mortal, 
and afterwards deified. Properly speaking, he is a personifi- 
cation of the marriage song. There are various accounts of 
his life and deification, and among them the following : 

Young, and of a soft delicate beauty, so that he might be 
mistaken for a girl. Hymen loved a young Athenian maiden, 
whom, however, because of his poverty, he could not hope to 
obtain for his wife. To be near her, he once joined a troop of 
maidens, among whom she was engaged in celebrating a festival 
to Demeter at Eleusis. Suddenly a band of robbers appeared 
from a hiding-place, carried the maidens off to their ship, and 
set out with the intention of selling them as slaves in some 
distant country. But landing on the way on a dreary island, 
the robbers indulged so copiously in wine that they all fell into 
deep slumber. Hymen, seizing the opportunity, incited his 
fellow-captives to take the weapons from the robbers and slay 


them all, which they did. Thereupon he set off to Athens in 
the ship, and finding the people there in great distress, presented 
himself to the parents of the maiden he loved, and undertook 
to bring her back unharmed on condition of their giving her 
to him as his wife. This was readily promised. Finding a 
crew, he at once set sail for the island, and speedily returned 
with all the maidens on board. For this he obtained the title 
of Thalassios, as well as the wife that had been promised him. 
So happy was his wedded life that at marriage ceremonies 
generally his name was on the lips of all the company, and he 
himself in course of time came to be looked on as a god, and 
the founder and protector of marriage rights. At bridal fes- 
tivities a sacrifice was offered to him, festal songs were sung, 
and flowers and wreaths strewn. 

As a deity he was placed among the playmates of Eros, and 
in the company of Aphrodite. His home, it was believed, 
was among the Muses on Mount Helikon in Boeotia. There 
is a story which says that he lost his voice and his life in 
singing the marriage song of Dionysos and Ariadne or Althcea. 
He is always a picture of youthful beauty, and of the charms 
of love and song. 

Hymen was represented as a beautiful youth with a mantle 
of a golden colour — sometimes nude — and carrying a torch, as 
in Plate XXV., or a veil. 


Were looked upon by the Greeks as the goddesses of the grace- 
fulness and the charms of beauty, and of cheerful amusement, 
which were observed both in nature and in the intercourse 
with men. As such, their worship dated from a very early time 


in Orchomenos in Boeotia, in Sparta, Athens, and Crete ; the 
games held in their honour in the last-mentioned place being 
said to have existed even in the time of the pre-historic king 
Minos. Their oldest sanctuary was said to be that at Orcho- 
menos. It contained images of them in the form of rude 
stones which were supposed to have fallen from heaven. 

The manifold beauty which the works of nature, especially 
in spring-time, display, would seem to have given rise in very 
early times to a belief in the existence of certain goddesses^t 
first simply as guardians of the vernal sweetness and beauty 
of nature, and afterwards as the friends and protectors of 
everything graceful and beautiful — an idea which the poets 
further developed. Pindar, in one of his most delightful 
songs of victory, singing of the Graces, associates with them 
the source of decorum, of purity and happiness in life, of good 
will, beneficence and gratitude among men. 

They were represented as beautiful young modest maidens, 
winning and charming, always dancing, singing, and running, 
or bathing in fountains, or decking themselves with early flow- 
ers, especially with roses ; for the rose was sacred to them, as 
well as to Aphrodite (Venus), in whose company, and doing 
her many a service, according to the myth, they were usually 
to be found. Their home was among the Muses in the 
neighbourhood of Olympos, where they often appeared as com- 
panions of Aphrodite, and danced before the other deities. 

Their origin is variously stated, — now Zeus and Eurynome, 
an Okeanid, being assigned as their parents, now Dionysos 
and Aphrodite. There is a difference also in the statements of 
their names and number. From Orchomenos, it would seem, 
come Aglsea, Euphrosyne, and Thalia. In Sparta and in 
Athens there were only two, the pair worshipped in the former 


town being called Kleta (clang) and Phaenna (glimmer), 
in the latter town, Auxo and Hegemone. In the Iliad a 
whole race of them is mentioned, old and young — the youngest 
being Pasithea. According to another account, the youngest 
was Agl?ea, the wife of Hephoestos ; the object in assigning 
him such a wife being probably to indicate the perfect beauty 
of the works of art produced by that god. Beauty and sweet- 
ness, the best charm of poetry, came from the Graces. Athene 
(Minerva) called in their aid in the serious business of life 
over which she presided, because without gracefulness all 
labour was in vain, the Greeks believed. They assisted 
Hermes (Mercury) in his capacity of god of oratory. From 
these instances of their activity it will be seen how highly the 
Greeks prized this quality of gracefulness. 

In Greece there was a number of temples and beautiful 
groups of statuary in their honour, sometimes devoted to them 
alone, sometimes to them in common with other deities ; as, 
for example. Aphrodite, Apollo, and the Ma^es. Annual 
festivals, called Charitesia, accompanied with games, music, 
and dance, were held in their honour. It was the custom also 
to call upon them in taking an oath, and at banquets the first 
cup of wine was offered to them. 

In early times they were represented in art as draped figures, 
but in later times as quite nude, or but sparingly clothed, and 
occupied in a dance. Their attributes were the rose, the 
myrtle, and dice, as a symbol of cheerful amusement. At 
other times they hold apples or perfume- vases, or ears of corn, 
or heads of poppies, or musical instruments — such as the lyre, 
flute^ and syrinx. 



Or Suadela, was the goddess of persuasion, and like the 
Graces, formed part of the escort of Aphrodite, whose daughter 
she was said to be. 

Her worship, along with Aphrodite, was introduced into 
Athens by Theseus, at the time when he succeeded in per- 
suading the various isolated tribes inliabiting Attica to unite 
into one people, with Athens as their chief town. But she 
had temples in other places also, and was looked on as a deity 
to whose influence much was due. 


(plate XXVI.,) 

Or Ganymeda, or Dia, as she was called in the vine-growing 
district of Phlius, where she was worshipped as the principal 
deity, was daughter of Zeus and Hera, and was the goddess 
of youth, herself remaining always young, and warding off age, 
like the other deities, by means of nectar and ambrosia. Her 
name among the Romans was Juventas. In Olympos she 
held the office of cup-bearer to the gods, for which it is sup- 
posed that she was peculiarly adapted, first, because of her 
association with the vine-growers of Phlius, and, secondly, 
because she was the youngest daughter of the regal pair of 
Olympos, and as such, on the analogy of human arrangements, 
would be expected to wait upon the divine guests, as Briseis 
did on Achilles, or Hippodameia on Oenomaos or as, in real 
life, Melissa, the daughter of Prokles, king of Epidauros, 
poured out wine for her father's men with a grace which cap- 

HEBE. 177 

tivated Pcriander. The difficulty of explaining how Hebe and 
Ganymedes would both hold the same office was met in various 
ways, of which one was to assume her to have been cup-bearer 
in general and him cup-bearer to Zeus in particular, while 
another ingeniously supposed that Hebe only held the office 
while Ganymedes was absent from Olympos during the Trojan 
war, so as to avoid witnessing the misfortunes of his native 
country. Among her other duties she had to assist Hera to 
yoke her car. When Apollo and the Muses played she danced 
with otlier deities. At times she accompanied Aphrodite. 
But the character in which she was best known and most ad- 
mired was that of the bride and wife of Herakles, when he 
was raised to Olympos in reward for his extraordinary labours 
on earth. This union of Hebe, the favourite daughter of 
Hera, with Herakles, whom she had constantly persecuted 
while on earth, is unknown to the Iliad. The character of 
the myth, however, appears to point to a very early origin. 
The singular climax of events, which made Herakles the guest 
of the gods of Olympos and the husband of the most attrac- 
tive of the goddesses, was a subject which was made the most 
of by the comic poets. Representations of the marriage pro- 
cession, and of Herakles receiving a cup of wine from Hebe, 
occur in ancient sculpture. In other cases she appears in the 
company of her mother Hera, or alone, or in the character of 
Ganymeda, fondling the eagle of Zeus, or giving it drink 
from a cup, as occurs not unfrequently on engraved gems. 

At the town of Phlius, in the district of Argolis, there was, 
in a fine grove, a celebrated temple in her honour, which 
served as a place of refuge or asylum, in which slaves who 
had been set free hung up their chains among the cypresses 
sacred to the goddess. 



In Rome Juventas had two sanctuaries, one on the Capitol, 
the other beside the great race-course. It was the custom — 
dating, it was said, as far back as the time of Servius Tullius — 
to pay into the temple of Juventas a piece of money for every 
boy who lived to enter the stage of youth. When the young 
Roman assumed the toga vhilis, he went up to the Capitol 
and prayed to Jupiter and Juventas. At the beginning of 
every year sacrifice was offered to both deities in behalf of the 
youth of the city. 


(plate xxviii.,) 

Was a son of the Trojan king Tros and Kallirhoe, and was 
therefore great-grandson of Dardanos, the founder of Troy. 
Zeus finding him on Mount Ida, and admiring his beauty, 
carried him off to Olympos, where he appears to have suc- 
ceeded Hebe in the office of cup-bearer to the gods. 

He was represented as possessed of eternal youth and 
extraordinary beauty, wearing a Phrygian cap to indicate his 
birth-place. The cup in his hand indicates his office of cup- 
bearer, while the eagle of Zeus by his side shows that that 
office was performed among the gods of Olympos. 


(plate XXXI,,) 

Was, according to the most common version of the myth, a 
son of Apollo and Koronis, a daughter of a Thessalian prince, 
• — ^whence his title Koronides. At his birth his mother died, 
Struck by the arrows of Artemis; but the father saved the child. 


and taking it to Mount Pelion, gave it in keeping to the famous 
physician, Chiron, who carefully instructed the boy from 
early youth onwards in the mysteries of the healing art, train- 
ing him at the same time to expertness in the chase. In the 
former the pupil soon excelled the master, curing the most 
malignant diseases, and working real miracles with his art. 
There was but one whom his success could injure, and that was 
Pluto, the monarch of the lower world, who urged his com- 
plaint before Zeus. The latter, astonished at the boldness of 
a mortal in thus defying the decrees of fate, felled the great 
doctor with a thunderbolt, to the indignation of Apollo, who 
was only silenced by banishment from Olympos for some time. 
After his death Asklepios was looked upon as a god in Greece ; 
festivals called Asklepia were held in his honour, and tem- 
ples were erected to him, of which the most celebrated was 
that of Epidauros, in the Peloponnesos. Thither even the 
Romans sent ten deputies once, to inquire the will of the ora- 
cle with regard to a pestilence that was raging in Rome. The 
deputies had hardly entered the temple, when from behind 
the gold-and-ivory statue of the god a serpent appeared, the 
symbol of Asklepios, and followed them through the streets 
of the town, on to the harbour, and into their ship. They 
received it joyfully as a happy portent, and set out homewards. 
On reaching Italy the serpent left the ship, and proceeded to 
a temple of JEsculapius, in the town of Antium, but afterwards 
returned to the ship, and did not leave it again until, on 
going up the Tiber, it stopped at an island. Thereupon the 
pestilence ceased, and the temple was erected on the island to 
-^sculapius, to commemorate the event. Thither patients were 
conveyed and cured — a short statement of the symptoms of 
each case, and the remedy employed, being inscribed on 


tablets, which were hung up in the temple, and were found to 
be a great boon to posterity. 

Besides the serpent, he frequently has as an attribute a cock, 
— that animal being also sacred to him. The serpent, by its 
periodic change of skin, indicates rejuvenescence; the staff 
marks him as wandering from place to place, to give help ; 
while the dish, which he sometimes holds, is a symbol of his 
healing potions. It was the custom of invalids to sacrifice a 
cock to him, as Socrates did after drinking the cup of poison, 
as a token that he did not fear death, but rather looked upon 
it as a cure and a convalescence. 

Among the children of ^sculapius, Hygiea is specially 
mentioned. The name of his wife was Epigone — ''the 
soothing." Like many other deities of the lower order, in 
common with heroes, he was in after times placed as a star in 
the sky. 

In Plate XXXI. the god of medicine is represented as a man 
of years, bearded, gentle, and earnest, draped, and resting on a 
staff, round which a serpent, as emblem of rejuvenescence, is 
coiled. His type of face resembles that of Zeus so much, that 
in the case of the fine marble head in the British Museum 
absolute agreement has not yet been arrived at as to which of 
the two gods it was intended to represent. The head in 
question was found in the island of Melos, on the site of what 
is supposed to have been a temple to Asklepios, from the dis- 
covery in the same place of a native tablet, dedicated to the 
god and to his daughter Hygiea. A person who had recovered 
from a local illness would dedicate a sculptured representation 
of the part that had been affected. Of such sculptures there 
are a number of examples in the British Museum. 



(plate XXXI.,) 

Or Hygieia, or Hygea, was, as we have just said, the 
daughter of Asklepios, and the goddess of health. Others 
said she was the wife of Asklepios. 

She was represented as a young, active, smiling goddess, in 
whom Apollo took a special interest. In Plate XXXI. she 
appears draped, and holding a serpent — which, as in the case 
of Asklepios, is the symbol of health. She feeds it from a 
plate ox patera. 

At other times she is figured wearing a wreath of laurel, or 
of plants known for their medicinal properties — a patera in 
her hand, a serpent coiled round her arm or body. 


Passed in Rome for a sister of Hygea and a goddess of health, 
a festival called Meditrinalia l)eing annually held in her 
honour at the beginning of October, the ceremony consisting 
in drinking some old and some new wine together, and ex- 
claiming, ^' I drink the new and the old wine — with new and 
old wine I heal infirmities." 

The distinction between the two goddesses of health lay in 
this — that while Hygea preserved good health, Meditrina 
restored it. The Greek goddess Jaso appears to have been 
identical with Meditrina. 


Was looked upon as a genius or deity of that secret and mys- 
terious vitality which sustains the convalescent. He was re- 


presented (Plate XXXI.) by the side of ^^^sculapius, or stand- 
ing between him and Hygea, as a small barefooted boy, 
wrapped closely in a mantle, with a hood on his head. This 
careful wrapping-up seems to indicate the secret shrouded 
nature of the vital force which he personifies, and may also 
have been meant to express the care in wrapping-up so essen- 
tial to convalescence. 

The principal centre of his worship was on the coast of 
Asia Minor. ^ j 


(plate XXI.) 

The idea that a great part of the incidents and circumstances 
of life was due to chance, had taken hold of the mind in very 
early times, and had come to be personified in the form of a 
goddess of luck, whom the Greeks called Tyche and the 
Romans Fortuna. She was the daughter of Zeus. The Parca3, 
or Fates, were her sisters. It was believed that she guided 
the career of men, whether prosperously or the reverse ; and 
to show her in this capacity, she was figured holding a double 
rudder in her hands — the one to steer the barque of the lucky, 
the other that of the unlucky. In later times she was repre- 
sented with wings, or with her eyes bound, standing on a ball 
or a wheel, to indicate that luck rolls like a ball, without choice, 
undoing all the efforts of this one, and overwhelming that one 
mth wealth and prosperity. Sometimes she was represented 
with a ball on her head, or with a cornucopia in her hands. 

In Plate XXI. she appears draped, her arms bare, a horn of 
plenty in one hand and a rudder in the other, — the ball be- 
side the rudder indicating the rapid turns of fortune. 


Tyche was worshipped in many places in Greece, but espe- 
cially at Athens, where she was popularly believed to reside 
constantly as a favouring deity. In Italy the worship of For- 
tuna was wide-spread, and a general festival held in her honour 
annaally on the 24th of June. Her principal worshippers, 
however, were newly-married women. She had an oracle of 
considerable fame in the towns of Prseneste and Antium. 


(PL-\TE XXX.,) 

The goddess of victor}-, was a daughter of the giant Pallas and 
the Okeanid n}Tnph Styx, and was regarded by the Greeks 
as inseparable from Zeus and Athene. Except in works of 
art of an early period, she was represented with wings. Her 
attributes were a palm-branch, a WTeath, and a trophy of ar- 
mour. Sometimes she carried a staif {caduceus) like that of 
Hermes, as a sign of her power, and floated in the air with 
outspread wings, or appeared coming down to earth — now 
pointing the way to a victor, now reaching a wreath down to 
his brow, or driving his horses. As goddess of victories by 
sea, suitable emblems were assigned to her. 

In Plate XXX. she appears standing on a globe, draped, 
winged, holding a wreath and a palm-branch. On coins ap- 
parently struck to commemorate victories, or, as it sometimes 
happened, success in the national games, — on engraved gems, 
sculptures, — figures of Nike are of frequent occurrence. She 
is also draped, and of a youthful appearance : a favourite sub- 
ject, to judge from the repetition of it on gems, seems to have 


been that in which she was represented in the act of sacrificing 
an ox. 


The goddess of peace, was also represented holding a palm- 
branch. At other times she stood with armour under her feet, 
or was engaged in closing the temple of Janus. In Greece she 
was reckoned one of the Horae — the most cheerful, indeed, of 
the three sisters. In Rome she had a temple, and enjoyed the 
honour of an annual festival on the 30th of January. ''^ 


The Greek name being Ananke, the Roman Fatum, was a 
personification of the unalterable necessity that appeared to 
control the career of mankind and the events of the world. 
Gods, as well as men, were subject to its unchanging decrees. 
This deity was the offspring of Night and Erebos. Her sen- 
tences were carried out by the Parcse, who, however, were also 
looked upon as independent deities of fate. She was repre- 
sented standing on a globe, and holding an urn. 


In very early times the management of the world in regard to 
social matters involving right and reason, was supposed to be 
directly under the control of a goddess called Mcera, who, in 
her own province, acknowledged the superiority of no other 
deity, not even of Zeus, the ruler of the world, who, as supreme 
god, could not be thought to insist on anything unreasonable 
or wrong. In later times we find, instead of this single deity, 


One of the Horse. 





three Moeras (or Parcae) answering respectively to the three 
stages of human life — birth, years, and death. In this form, 
however, they no longer retained the high position of superi- 
ority to Zeus, but, like the other deities, became subject to 
him, thus showing that he possessed in its highest form the 
consciousness of right and reason, and was entitled to be 
called Moeragetes, or leader of the Moerae. 

They were described as daughters of Night — to indicate the 
darkness and obscurity of human fate — or of Zeus and Themis, 
that is, 'daughters of the just heavens." Another story has 
it, that it was they who united Themis and Zeus in marriage, 
the same ceremony, according to another version of the myth, 
having been performed by them to Zeus and Hera. It was 
natural to suppose the goddesses of fate present and taking 
part at marriages and births. 

The names of the three sisters were Klotho, Lachesis, and 
Atropos. To express the influence which they were believed 
to exercise on human life from birth to death, they were con- 
ceived as occupied in spinning a thread of gold, silver, or wool ; 
now tightening, now slackening, and at last cutting it off. 
This occupation was so arranged among the three, that Klotho, 
the youngest, put the wool round the spindle, Lachesis spun it, 
and Atropos, the eldest, cut it off, when a man had to die. 
Tyche, or Fortuna, has been taken as a fourth sister, on account 
of the similarity of her functions. It is not, however, so. 

They were represented in art as serious maidens, always side 
by side, and in most cases occupied as we have mentioned ; 
there being instances, however, in which Atropos, the ' unal- 
terable,' is represented alone. 

They were worshipped very seriously both in Greece and 
Italy : sacrifices of honey and flowers, sometimes of ewes, were 


offered to them, while in Sparta and in Rome they had tem- 
ples and altars. 


Called also Adrasteia and Rhamnusia, from Rhamnus in 
Attica, the principal centre of her worship, was a personifica- 
tion of the vengeance which appeared to overtake every act of 
wrong. She was the goddess of punishment, and as such a 
figure of her was placed beside the bench of the judges. A 
mysterious power, watching over the propriety of life, she was 
conceived as shaping the demeanour of men in their times of 
prosperity, punishing crime, taking luck away from the un- 
worthy, tracking every wrong to its doer, and keeping society 
in equipoise. She was represented as a thoughtful, beautiful 
figure of queenly aspect, with a diadem or crown on her head, 
winged, except in the case of early sculptures, or driving in a 
car drawn by gryphons. Among her several attributes were a 
wheel, to indicate the speed of her punishments, a balance, a 
bridle, a yoke, a rudder, a lash, a sword, and an apple-branch. 
Special festivals, called Nemesia, accompanied by public 
sacrifices to assure her good will, were held annually in Athens 
and in Smyrna. 

Now Erebos, now Okeanos, is mentioned as her father, while 
Zeus is said to have been her lover, and Helena their daughter. 

To execute her commands she had three attendants, Dike, 
Poena, and Erinys (respectively justice, punishment, and 
vengeance). She was a terror to evil-doers. At the same time 
her endeavours to preserve an equal balance in the attitude of 
man to man were recognized as springing from a deep-seated 
love, and therefore she was placed beside the Graces. In 
Smyrna several winged beings of her type were worshipped. 



Called by the Romans Discordia, the goddess of strife, was 
employed by the other gods to stir up fierce disputes and 
mortal quarrels among men. It was she who caused the dis- 
pute between Hera, Athene, and Aphrodite for the possession 
of the golden apple, the prize of beauty, which she threw 
among the company assembled at the marriage of Peleus. 

Terrible in form and aspect, with attributes like those of the 
Eumenides, with whom her home was in the realms below, 
she was looked on as the sister and companion, sometimes as 
the wife, of Ares, the god of massacre. Her daughter was 


Whom the Romans called Bellona, now believing her to be 
the wife and now the sister of Mars. Similarly among the 
Greeks, Enyo, the murderous goddess of war, delighting in 
devastation, was associated with Ares, v»^ho also bore the title 
of Eny alios, either driving his chariot or rushing in front 
of it to battle. The peculiar fierceness and fury with which 
she spread terror and alarm in a battle distinguished her from 
Pallas-Athene. She was represented as of frightful aspect, 
with flowing hair, rushing wildly hither and thither, with a 
lash in her hand, and armed with shield and spear. Her 
most celebrated temple was that at Komana, in Asia Minor. 
At the close of the war against the Samnites a temple was 
erected to her in Rome by Appius Claudius. There the 
Senate used to meet when they had to deliberate with an em- 
bassy from a hostile power, or when they had to decide 
whether the honour of a triumphal entry into the city should 


be bestowed upon a general. At the entrance to the temple 
stood a pillar, which, on the occasion of declaring war, was 
viewed as marking the boundary between Roman and hostile 
territory. The ceremony of declaring war was to throw a 
spear over this pillar — that is, into the territory of the enemy. 
There festivals of din and wild excitement were held in her 
honour. Her priests were styled Bellonarii, 


The goddess of fame or report, whether good or bad, was said 
to be a daughter of Gaea, and born at the time of her great 
indignation at the overthrow of the Giants. Sleepless, always 
prying, swift of foot, Pheme announced whatever she saw or 
heard of, at first in a whisper addressed only to a few persons, 
then by degrees louder and to a larger circle, until finally she 
had traversed heaven and earth communicating it. She was 
represented as a tender, gentle figure, winged, and holding a 


Was the goddess of infatuation, mischief, and guilt, misleading 
men to actions that involved them in ruin. For this her 
father, Zeus, cast her in anger from Olympos, and from that time 
she wandered about the earth in search of victims to her 
malignant influence. She was spoken of as powerful in person 
and swift of foot, running before men to mislead them. Her 
sisters were the 

Sweet-natured goddesses, whose special duty was to recom- 
pense the persons whom Ate had reduced to distress and ruin. 

' vy 1 

One of the Erinys. 



Eros Grieving lor Psyche. 


Their name signifies *' prayers of the penitent," and the 
allegory in tliis case is not far to seek. Prayers atone and 
make amends for what a man does to the harm of others in 
thoughtlessness or from infatuation, without wicked thought 
or design. In the Homeric poems they are described as lame, 
wrinkled, and squinting — those deformities being caused by 
the trouble they had in making good the harm done by Ate. 
Penitent prayers were at best but sorry aid in making good 
the evil done from infatuation or carelessness. 

The Lit3e were supposed to be daughters of Zeus, and to 
place before him the prayers of those who invoked his as- 


(plate XXIX.,) 

Called also Dirae, Eumenides, or Semnae — that is, the 
** revered " goddesses, were daughters of Night, or, according to 
another myth, of the Earth and Darkness, while a third account 
calls them offspring of Kronos and Eurynome. They were 
attendants of Hades and Persephone, and lived at the entrance 
to the lower world. Their first duty was to see to the punish- 
ment of those of the departed who, having been guilty of some 
crime on earth, had come dovv^n to the shades without obtain- 
ing atonement from the gods. At the command of the higher 
gods, sometimes of Nemesis, they appeared on earth pursuing 
criminals. Nothing escaped their sharp eyes as they followed 
the evil-doer with speed and fury, permitting him no rest. 

A sad instance of this is the story of Orestes, tlic son of 
Agamemnon, who slew his mother, Klytaemnestra, to 
avenge his father's death. The atrocity of the crime committed 


by Kly tsemnestra was held by Zeus and Apollo to be no excuse 
for the act of Orestes, and accordingly he was subjected to the 
long and cruel pursuit of the Furies, from which he was at 
length freed by bringing, on the advice of an oracle of Apollo, 
an image of Artemis from Tauros to Argos. 

In Plate XXIX. is represented one of the Erinys pursuing 
Orestes ; the face reflected on the mirror which she holds is 
perhaps that of Klytsemnestra. 

The number of the Erinys, varying in early times, was after- 
wards fixed to three : Tisiphone (the avenger of murder), 
Alekto (the unwearied persecutor), and Megsera (the grim). 
They were represented as female figures of odious aspect, clad 
in black, sometimes winged, with hair formed of vipers, and 
carrying a serpent, a knife, or a torch in their hands. In time 
this grim conception of them fell away, and they came to be 
represented as beautiful serious maidens, clad something like 
Artemis. As divine beings, whose office it was to punish 
neglect of duty, breach of faith, and crimes committed against 
parents, they came to be looked upon as aiding the preserva- 
tion of a high morality, and were called Eumenides, or the 
"well-minded goddesses." When sacrifices were offered to 
them, the place chosen for the occasion was of a wild charac- 
ter, the time night, and the animals sacrificed, black. In 
Greece there were several temples and solemn groves dedica- 
ted to them — as, for eaeample, at Colonos, close by Athens. 


Also were creatures employed, according to the belief of the 
Greeks and Romans, by the higher gods to carry out the 
punishment of crime. They were three in number : Aello, 



Okypete, and Kelseno, or Podarge ; and were said to be 
daughters of the giant Thaumas and the Okeanid nymph 
Elektra. Their body was that of a bird, their head that of 
a woman ; and it would seem that they were originally god- 
desses of the storm, which carries everything along with it. 

Their manner of punishing those whom they were sent to 
punish was to carry off all the food set before their victim, and 
devour it, or failing that, to render it uneatable. Among others 
who were punished in this way was Phineus, a king of 
Thrace, his crime having been cruelty towards his own son and 
contempt of the gods. For showing the Argonauts the way 
to Kolchis he was, however, freed from their persecution by 
Kalais and Zetes, the winged sons of Boreas, who, in grati- 
tude, killed them. At other times, as the case of the daughters 
of Pandareos, they are described as carrying off their victims 
bodily from the earth; while, on the so-called Harpy tomb in 
the British Museum, they appear to be represented as daemons 
of death carrying away the souls of deceased persons. 


By name Stheino, Euryale, and Medusa, were daughters 
of Phorkys and Keto. Two of them were believed to be 
immortal, while the third. Medusa, the youngest and most 
beautiful of them, was mortal. She loved Poseidon, and having 
met him once in the temple of Athene, to the desecration of 
that building, was punished by having her beautiful hair 
turned into snakes, thus making her appearance more ghastly 
than that of her sisters. Her face was terrible to behold, 
turning the spectator into stone. At last Perseus, finding 
her asleep, cut off her head with his curved sword, and pre- 


sented it to Athene, who had assisted him in the enterprise, 
to be worn on her cegis or shield as a terror to her enemies. 

The ancient poets describe the Gorgons generally as horrid, 
aged women, and frequently place them by the side of the 
Furies. In early times there was only one Gorgon — Medusa 
— instead of the three of later times. The winged horse, 
Pegasos, was the offspring of her and Poseidon. 

In Plate XXXI. Perseus is represented standing with sword 
in one hand and the head of Medusa in the other, turning his 
face away to avoid seeing it. The subject of Perseus cutting 
off the head of Medusa occurs in one of the earliest examples 
of Greek sculpture — one of the metopes of the oldest temple at 
Selinus, in Sicily; and from the conventional manner in 
which her face is represented, compared with the other parts 
of the sculpture, it is agreed that the type must have been 
familiar for some time to Greek art. To possess a represen- 
tation of a Gorgon's face was to be provided with a charm 
against ills, and accordingly it was frequently employed as a 
personal ornament. Many hundreds of such faces worked in 
thin gold, and intended to be stitched down on garments, 
were found in the tomb of a priestess of Demeter in Kertch, 
and are now in the hermitage of St. Petersburg. A represen- 
tation of Perseus escaping after cutting off the Gorgon's head, 
and being pursued by her sisters, occurs on a small vase in 
the British Museum, where also is to be seen, on a fragment 
of a terra-cotta relief, Athene holding up the shield, the 
polished surface of which reflected her face, and thus guided 
Perseus to the spot without his encountering its deadly stare. 

THE GRAE.'E. 1 93 


Daughters of Phorkys and Keto, were three in number; 
Deino, Pephredo, and Enyo; their names meaning re- 
spectively ** alarm," ''dread," and "horror." Sisters and at 
the same time guardians of the Gorgons, they were conceived 
as misshapen hideous creatures, hoary and withered from their 
birth, with only one eye and one tooth for the common use of 
the three, and were supposed to inhabit a dark cavern near the 
entrance to Tartaros. The belief in their existence seems to 
have been originally suggested by the grey fog or mist which 
lies upon the sea and is a frequent source of danger to the 
mariner. It is said that Perseus obtained from them the ne- 
cessary information as to the dwelling of the Gorgons by 
seizing their solitary eye and tooth, and refusing to return 
them until they showed him the way. 


Was, it will be remembered, a daughter of Chaos. She be- 
came the wife of Erebos (darkness), and bore to him two 
children, -^ther (the pure air) and Hemera (day). In the 
earliest form of the myth she was one of the seven elements 
that constituted the world — fire, water, earth, sky, sun, moon, 
and night. 

In time the lively imagination of the ancients associated 
with this mysterious goddess of night a control over illness, 
sufferings, dreams, misfortunes, quarrels, war, murder, sleep, 
and death ; everything inexplicable and frightful that befell 
men being personified and described as her offspring. 

She was supposed to inhabit a palace in the lower world 
jointly with Day. When the latter entered the palace, Night 



of it by the remains of poetry and art of high antiquity. The 
hydra \\d^ a monster with nine heads, of which eight were mor- 
tal and the ninth invulnerable. It lived in the marshy ground 
beside the fountain of Amymone, and even the smell which 
spread from its poison was fatal to any one who passed near it. 
Herakles arrived at the spot in a chariot, attended by lolaos, 
and succeeded in driving the hydra from its hole by firing his 
arrows in upon it. The fight began, and Herakles found that 
for every head of it which he cut two fresh heads started up, 
and to increase the difficulty a huge crab came and seized him 
by the heel. It was necessary to try another form of attack. 
Herakles ordered lolaos to set the neighbouring wood on fire 
and to fetch him a brand from it ; with the brand so obtained 
he proceeded, the moment he had cut off a head, to burn it 
up, and in this way destroying them one by one, he at last 
came to the invulnerable head, cut it off also, and buried it 
under a huge rock. He dipped his arrows in the poison of the 
hydra. When his success was reported to Eurystheus, the lat- 
ter refused to reckon it as one of the labours, on the ground 
that lolaos had rendered assistance. The interpretation of the 
legend is that the hydra or v/ater-snake is a symbol of the 
horrors of a marshy district, and that its poison, with its fatal 
smell, represents the miasma which arises from such districts. 
3. The Erymajithian boar, like the Keryneian stag and the 
Stymphalian Birds, carries us to a mountainous and wild rustic 
scene. Its haunt was on Mount Erymanthos, in the north of 
Arcadia. But the name of Erymanthos was also applied to a 
stream wliich flowed down tlie mountain side; and it is not 
imjjrobable that the wild boar was only a legendary illustration 
of the ravages jjroduced in winter and early spring by the 
descent of this river with swollen torrents. The orders of 


EurystheiLS were thai ihc hoar .shoultl l>c l>ruugl»l ba< k alive 
to Mykcnae; but at the siyht of Herakles returning with it 
alive on his shoulders, fear took |xissession of the king, and 
he hid himself in a large bron/e vessel, into which Herakles, 
as frequently represente*! on ancient vxs6s, pro< cede<l lo put 
the boar, ;ls the s;ifest possible place. The consternation of 
lOurystheus may be imagined. In ( onnection with the cap- 
ture of tlie boar is told the story of a visit whicli Herakles 
jjaid on his way to the Centaur, I'holos, who lived in a cave 
on Mount Pholoe. Tlie hero wa.s hungry, and Tholos gave 
him to eat. He w;is also thirsty, and required some wine. 
Now Pholos had at hand a large vase full of choice wine, but 
it was the common pro|)erty of the Centaurs who lived in 
Other parts of the mountain. On the other hand the wine 
had been a present from Dionysos, and had been accom|xinied 
with the command that it should not be oj)ened till his good 
frientl Herakles arrived. Pholos accordingly had no hesita- 
tion in tapping the vase, and huih drank freely from it. The 
strong aroma of the wine, liowever, rca( hed the nostrils of the 
other Centaurs, who now flot ked towards the ( ave of Pholos 
in wil:l confusion, armed witli |)ine branches, rocks, axes, and 
torches, and fell ui>on Herakles. A violent fight ensuetl, in 
which Herakles, besides w ith .superior numbers, had to 
contend with the disadvantages of a flood of water sent by the 
clouds, who were the mothers of the Centaurs. Ultimately he 
succeeded in wounding many, and disix-rsing the others into 
the woods, — the only melancholy part of the issue being that 
his friend Pholos lost his life, under circumstances which re- 
mind us of the death of tl\at other kindly Centaur, Chiron, 
who lived on Mount Pelion, and brought up Achilles. Pholos 
was stooping over a Centaur who had fallen by an arrow from 



The god of death, was, as we have said, a son of Night and 
twin-brother of Sleep. He was, however, also described as a 
son of Earth and Tartaros, to whom it was his office to intro- 
duce, some time or other, the whole of mankind. The 
relentless severity with which he discharged the task caused 
him to be frequently regarded with pain, and to be repre- 
sented as of a powerful figure, with shaggy beard and fierce 
countenance, with great wings to his shoulders, and rese^nb- 
ling, on the whole, the figure of Boreas, the god of the wild 
north wind of winter. This form, in the case of both deities, 
was expressive of the violent nature of their functions. 

Thanatos was, however, more frequently regarded with 
submission, or as coming opportunely, and in such cases was 
represented in the form of a quiet pensive youth, winged, 
standing with his legs crossed, often beside an urn with a 
wreath on it, and holding an extinguished torch reversed. Or, 
as a personification of endless repose, he appeared in the form 
of a beautiful youth leaning against the trunk of a tree, with 
one arm thrown up over his head — an attitude by which ancient 
artists usually expressed repose. It was probably owing to the 
spread of the belief that death was a transition from life to 
Elysium, that in later times this more attractive representation 
of the god of death took the place of the former repulsive 
representations whether, as a powerful and violent god, or as 
a black child in the arms of his mother. Night. Among the 
figures sculptured on the chest of Kypselos, a description of 
which we have still in Pausanias, was that of Night carrying 
twin children in her arms — the one white, representing Sleep, 
and the other black, representing Death. On Roman sarco- 


phagi, Mors, or the genius of death, was represented in the form 
of a winged boy, resembling Cupid, resting and holding a 
torch. In the Alcestis of Euripides he is described as armed 
with a sword. 


Were an order of invisible beings, one of whom was assigned 
by Zeus to every man, to attend, protect, and guide him. They 
were nameless, and, like the multitude of mankind, innumera- 
ble. Some of them acted as personal attendants to deities of 
a higher order, and in that case were represented under par- 
ticular forms, and enjoyed distinctive names, while others were 
believed to watch over particular districts, towns, or nations. 
While the Greeks regarded these Daemons as deities of an 
inferior order, the Romans believed them to be a sort of inter- 
mediate beings linking mankind to the gods. The Daemons 
assigned to women were supposed to be feminine. 

To every man was assigned a Daemon at his birth. Iden- 
tifying itself with him, it endeavoured, throughout his life, to 
guide him in a wise course, and at his death died with him. 
To be of a cheerful mood, and to be careful of prolonging 
life, was to live in obedience to a man's Daemon or Genius. 
To be sad and vexed, or to shorten life by recklessness, was 
to wrong the attendant spirit. On birthdays it was usual to 
offer a sacrifice of wine, milk, flowers, or incense to the Genius, 
while at most meals some unmixed wine was poured out to the 
"Good Daemon" (Agathodaemon). 

The usual representation of a being of this class was in the 
form of a youth holding a horn of plenty and a dish in one 
hand, and some heads of poppies and ears of grain in the 


Other. The presence of a Daemon was also symbolized by the 
figure of a serpent. 

Besides the general family of Genii, the Romans had one 
great Genius whom they reckoned among the gods of the 
second rank, and esteemed highly, believing that he had some 
control over the others. 


Were beings peculiar to the religion of the Romans. Every 
household was supposed to be under the protection of one 
Lar and several Penates, whose presence was symbolized by 
images in the form of a youth wearing a short tunic, girt at the 
waist, and holding a horn of plenty in one hand, and 2. pat era ^ 
or flat circular dish, in the other. Such images of the Lares 
and Penates were kept in a particular part of the house called 
the Lararium, received constant offerings of incense and liba- 
tions, and were decked with garlands of violets and rosemary. 
When a slave obtained his freedom, it was the custom of his 
former master to hang a chain upon the figures of his Lares. 
When a youth left the paternal roof he prayed : "Ye Penates 
of my fathers, and you, Lar, father of our family, I commend 
to you my parents, that you may protect them. Other 
Penates and another Lar I must now seek." 

Besides these private household deities there were also 
public Lares, who were recognized as the protecting spirits of 
whole states and towns. Of these there were originally two 
in Rome, and later three, — the spirit of Julius Caesar having 
been added as the third ; for the Lares were considered to be 
the spirits of deceased persons who continued to watch over 
and influence the living. The other two were, however, re- 

THE MANES, 1 99 

gardcd sometimes as sons of Mercury and a nymph called 
Lara. Statues and temples were erected in their honour. 
Sacrifice and prayers for the safety of the state were offered 
up at their altars, which in spring and in summer were fre- 
quently decked with flowers. They were protectors of high- 
ways and travellers, and in this capacity had the honour of a 
festival called Compitalia, which was annually celebrated at 
cross-roads, a few days after the Saturnalia, and consisted 
of a banquet and sacrifice of cakes, the ceremony being con- 
ducted by slaves. . To the Lares who protected the fields, 
sacrifices of lambs, calves, and pigs were offered. 

It was believed that the Genii of good people became after 
their death kindly Lares, while the Genii of evil-doers became 
Lemures or Larvae — that is, evil spirits who wandered 
about the earth afflicting mankind with illnesses for which 
there was no remedy but expiatory sacrifices to the gods. 
Persons who died without expiation for every wrong they had 
done were pursued by these Larvae in the lower world. 


Generally speaking, were the souls of the departed inhabiting 
the realm of shadows. Survivors, however, who believe that 
departed souls sustained a higher and nobler existence, 
regarded them as divine beings, calling them Dii Manes, 
offered sacrifice to them at tombs, and thought it possible to 
call them up from the lower world. 


DEMIGODS, or heroes, were a class of beings peculiar, 
it would seem, to the mythology of the Greeks. They 
were regarded partly as of divine origin, were represented as 
men possessed of godlike form, strength, and courage ; were 
believed to have lived on earth in the remote dim ages of the 
nation's history; to have been occupied in their lifetime with 
thrilling adventures and extraordinary services in the cause of 
human civilization, and to have been after death in some 
cases translated to a life among the gods, and entitled to 
sacrifice and worship.^ They were described as having been 
the first sovereigns and legislators of the nation, and as the 
founders of all the kingly and noble families. Monsters that 
devastated particular localities were destroyed, the oppressed 
were set free, and everywhere order and peaceful institutions 
were established by them. They were, in short, the adven- 
turous knights the history of whose deeds formed for the mass 
of the people the first chapter of the national history, and that 
in a manner worthy both of the civilization to which the nation 
had attained, and of the gods to whose influence the progress 
was due. The legends of their adventures furnished to poets 
and artists an inexhaustible treasure of striking figures, won- 
derful deeds, and strange events, while they formed at the 
same time a most powerful element in the national education. 


It has Ix-cn suggested tliat the belief in these beings may 
have originated in later times, in an impulse to people the blank 
early pre-historic age with ideal figures of a sublime order of 
men, to whom the nation might look back with pride; or 
that it may liave originated in a desire to dwell on the memory 
of distinguished })er.-,ons who had actually existed, and in time, 
by so doing, to exaggerate their actions to a degree quite be- 
yond human powers. But it is far more probable that, like 
the gods, the heroes had originally been divine personifications 
of certain elements of nature, and the legends of adventures 
ascribed to them merely a mythical form of describing the 
phenomena of these elements. The idea, for example, of a 
long struggle and ultimate victory over grim enemies, which 
is so characteristic of these adventures, is the same idea that 
we find pervading the early myths, in which the powers of 
light are represented as struggling with, and finally overcom- 
ing the powers of darkness. But while the gods always main- 
tained their relationship to the elements of nature, of which 
they were divine personifications — marine deities for instance, 
dwelling in the depths of the sea, and celestial deities in the 
pure ether — the heroes or demigods, on the other hand, had 
ceased to be identified with any particular element, and though 
retaining the form, strength, and courage of gods, came in 
time to be regarded as men of high order that had once in- 
habited Greece, but had passed away. The legends, which, 
as we have said, had been intended to be the mythical de- 
scriptions of certain natural phenomena, were expanded so as 
to embrace the new variety of adventures which imagination 
with its wide scope now assigned to the heroes. 

There apj>ears to have been a time when the gods generally 
were in danger of being reduced in this manner to the condi- 



Ii</M '/I <l« i,iip'//(|> <it \\» tnr^, MH li rv«nl,, i<t) itr,l;(ti' >^ ;r, ||,r- 
w:\i '/I /< ir, Willi III' 'lil-i/j;, ;tii<l ( iiiiMhi, IIm' « onlml-i i,i Apollo 
Willi 'lilyo:^ ;umI I'ylli'/ii, oi ol l)ioiiy:,<»'i willi lir. «)i<iiti»;, 
h« )()|/ « ;il< i|j;i|r<|, (loin III' II ;i'l7' iiliM'/ii-, ii;iliii', \<, |*m ■.'iil 
llirir ;ii)llioi;-, ino/«' III III' li/vlil ol Immm', ||i;iiioI /.'/mI,, .'iimI (o 
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^jli;i»y li'io':,, wli'» III liiiK l.<'.im< ili< ((iili< , o( .ill llw 
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pcnscd with as gods would be retained, on account of tlieir 
local adventures, as heroes or demigods. 

Turning to the oldest examples of the Greek epic poetry 
which we possess — the Iliail and Odyssey — we find the heroes 
represented as hardly distinguisha])Ie from men. More power- 
ful, more beautiful, and more courageous they certainly were 
than the ordinary men of their day, and on this account were 
looked on as descendants of the gods; still their ways of life 
were distinctly the ways of men, not of gods. 

By the time of Hesiod we find this opinion of the heroes 
changed. The heroic age is lamented as a thing of the past. 
The people of his time, aware of their weakness and wants, 
looked back with reverent feelings to the happy age in which 
the great heroes stood between the gods and feeble mankind. 
Zeus, it was taught by Hesiod, had translated the heroes to the 
isl;mds of the blest, far removed from men, where they lived 
in a perpetual golden age under the sovereignty of Kronos. 
The people, however, thought otherwise, believing that the 
ancient tumuli in Greece and in Asia Minor were the graves 
of the heroes. The imposing tumuli at the entrance to the 
Hellespont, for instance, were viewed as the tombs of Achilles, 
Patroklos, and Ajax. Sanctuaries and temples were erected 
to heroes, their bones were searched for, and when found re- 
garded as a great source of strength to the town that possessed 
tliem ; all relics of their stay on earth were hallowed, and a 
f.)rm of worship was specially adapted to them. 

In later times the heroes came to be identified more or less 
with the Daemons. The consequence of this was that all in- 
dividuals who on account of extraordinary strength, courage, 
beauty, talent, or self-sacrifice, were supposed to be possessed 
of special Daemons, were reckoned as heroes. And this was 

204 HEROES. 

not confined to persons remarkable for their good qualities ; 
successful daring entitling a robber to this rank as much as did 
the bravery of the men who fell at Marathon and Platsese. 

In still later times, as the belief gained ground that every 
soul had something of the nature of a Daemon in it, and was 
destined to a higher and nobler life, heroic honours were paid 
to almost all the dead; so that when a man of particular 
distinction died, the only course left open of paying him sig- 
nal honours was to regard him as having been, after the 
manner of Herakles, translated to a life among the gods, and 
to worship him as a god. 

It is, however, only with the heroes or demigods that occur 
in the mythology and the epic poetry that we have to do. 
They may be divided into three classes : First, the demigods, 
associated with the creation of mankind and the earliest inci- 
dents of human history and civilization, — the most striking 
figure among them being that of Prometheus. Secondly, the 
earlier heroes properly so called — such as Herakles, Theseus, 
Minos, Pelos, Perseus, or Bellerophon, who were distinguished 
for their extraordinary adventures, labours, and expeditions, 
such, for example, as that of the Argonauts to Kolchis. Third- 
ly, the more recent heroes, the tales of whose deeds and ex- 
peditions — for instance, those against Troy and Thebes — read 
more like historical traditions magnified by the imagination 
of the poets, than allegorical narratives such as those of the 
two preceding classes. 




AMONG the various opinions in ancient times concerning 
the origin of mankind, the most generally accepted one 
appears to have been that in which it was asserted that man 
and all other forms of life had, like the gods, originally sprung 
from the common mother earth. It was not supposed that 
the whole human race could trace its lineage back to one 
primeval pair; on the contrary, it was believed that a pri- 
meval pair had been created in all the chief districts in which 
mankind was afterwards found settled. As the natural fea- 
tures of these districts varied, so varied the opinions with 
regard to the exact substance from which the first beings had 
sprung. In wooded and mountainous districts, for instance, 
they were held to have sprung from rocks and trees ; in val- 
leys, from the moist element of nature. As to the time at 
which this creation took place, and whether it took place 
simultaneously throughout the various inhabited regions, we 
have no means of knowing the current belief. 

From the primitive condition of savages living like animals 
in the forests and caves, they advanced slowly in the direction 
of civilization, — sometimes visited with terrible punishments, 
and sometimes assisted by the gods; the different classes or 
tribes becoming in time united into two great races, — the 
Pelasgic and the Hellenic. The former traced its origin to 

2o6 HEROES. 

the Argive Phoroneus, and appears to have been resident 
mainly in the Peloponnesos, while the latter looked back to 
Deukalion as its founder, and was resident in Thessaly and 
round Parnassos. According to the story, a great flood had 
swept away the whole human race except one pair, Deukalion 
and Pyrrha, who, as the flood abated, landed on Mount Par- 
nassos, and thence descending, picked up stones, and cast 
them round about, as Zeus had commanded. From these 
stones sprang a new race — men from those cast by Deukalion, 
and women from those cast by his wife. From Hellenj-^the 
son of Deukalion, the Hellenic race derived its name, while 
its four great branches, the Cohans, Dorians, Achseans, and 
lonians, traced their descent and names from four of his sons. 

In such a primitive condition of life, perhaps nothing was 
regarded as of greater importance, or more mysterious in its 
nature, than fire. Its beam dispelled the dread of darkness, 
and its warmth removed the chill of winter. The fire of the 
hearth was the centre of domestic life. At the forge, tools 
and weapons were fashioned. It was an emblem of the life 
of man, with its flash and sudden extinction on the one hand 
and the illumination of its prolonged blaze on the other. In 
storms it was seen descending from the sky, and in volcanic 
eruptions it was seen issuing from the earth. The source of 
it all was readily believed to be in the close keeping of the 
gods ; and how mankind came to obtain the use of it was 
explained in the story of Prometheus. 

Zeus, foreseeing the arrogance that would arise from the 
possession of so great a blessing, had from the first refused 
to transmit any portion of his sacred fire to men. Their 
deplorable condition, however, owing to the want of it, 
found a champion in the person of Prometheus (a son of the 


Titan Japetos), wlio had previously identified himself with 
the cause of humanity in a dispute that arose at Mekone 
(Sikyon) as to the rightful share of the gods in all sacrifices 
offered to them. On that occasion an ox had been slaugh- 
tered as a sacrifice, and Prometheus, having wrapped up all 
the eatable parts in the skin of the animal as one portion, and 
having cleverly covered the bones and worthless parts with 
fat as the other portion, asked Zeus to select what he thought 
the better portion for the gods. Zeus, though i)erfectly aware 
of the deceit, chose the worthless parts, and more firmly than 
ever determined to withhold his fire from men. Prometheus^ 
however, resolved to obtain it for them, and succeeded in 
snatching some of it from the hearth of Zeus, or, as another 
version of the story has it, from the forge of Hephoestos in 
Lemnos. As a punishment, he was condemned to be chained 
alive to a rock in the remote Caucasus mountains, and to sub- 
mit while every day a vulture came to gnaw away his liver, 
which daily grew afresh. For a long time he bore this suffer- 
ing, and indeed would never have been released but for the 
secret which he possessed concerning the ultimate fate of the 
dominion of Zeus, who, for the purpose of learning the secret, 
permitted Herakles to shoot the vulture, to free Prometheus, 
and bring him back to Olympos. 

Meanwhile the human race enjoyed the many benefits of 
fire, and continued to advance in civilization rapidly. But 
that their cup of happiness might be mixed with sorrow, Zeus 
ordered Hephaestos to fashion a woman of clay, of divine 
beauty, but possessed of all the weaknesses as well as charms 
of human nature. Athene instructed her in the industrial 
occupations of women, Aphrodite gave her grace of manners, 
and taught her the arts of a beauty, while Hermes qualified 

2o8 HEROES. 

her for the part of flattering and soothing. With the help of 
the Graces and Horse, Athene robed her with costly, beautiful 
robes, and decked her with flowers, so that, when all was done, 
Pandora, as they called her, might be irresistibly attractive to 
gods and men. Hermes conducted her to Epimetheus, 
who, though warned by his brother Prometheus to accept no 
gift from Zeus, yielded to the besetting weakness from which 
he obtained his name — that of being wise when it was too 
late. He received Pandora into his house, and made her his 
wife. She brought with her a vase, the lid of which wasTb 
remain closed. The curiosity of her husband, however, 
tempted him to open it, and suddenly there escaped from it 
troubles, weariness, and illnesses, from which mankind was 
never afterwards free. All that remained was Hope. 

We have thus, in contrast with the general belief described 
above as the spontaneous origin of man from the earth, an 
instance of a human being directly fashioned by the gods from 
clay. From this mean substance it was also asserted the first 
men were made by Prometheus, Athene assisting him by 
breathing life into his figures. But this was probably only a 
learned speculation, indulged in to account for the zeal dis- 
played by Prometheus in the cause of human civilization. It 
is better to account for that zeal by assuming Prometheus to 
have been originally a god of fire, who, asserting his right to 
employ that clement for the benefit of mankind, provoked 
the hostility of the other gods, and from that time forward 
identified himself with the cause of men. There is good 
ground for assuming this in the fact that Prometheus was 
intimately associated with Hei)haistos in the very ancient 
worship of that god in Lcmnos and in Attica. 

While the progress of civilization, as far as it had depended 


on, or could be symbolized by, fire, was connected with Pro- 
metheus, the i)rogress of agriculture in primitive times was 
reflected in the story of the two giants Otos and Ephialtes, 
sons of Aloeus (the planter) and Iphimedeia. Small and puny 
at their birth, they grew quickly, living on grain, and soon 
Ijecame the wonder of men for their great size and t)eauty. 
Poinding that war and agriculture could not go together, they 
seized Ares, the god of war, bound and confined him in a 
large brazen vase for thirteen months. He would have per- 
ished in it had not Hermes at length heard of his imprison- 
ment, and set him free. Becoming more and more arrogant 
in the pride of their strength, the two brothers next determined 
to assail the immortal gods in Olympos itself, and for this 
purpose they had placed Mount Ossa on the top of Mount 
Olympos, and upon Ossa had heaped Mount Pelion, when 
the shafts of Apollo felled them. They perished in youth, 
ere their beards had grown. 


IT will be convenient to separate, for the present, the 
legends of the adventures of Herakles, together with those 
that relate to combined expeditions of heroes from different 
districts, — such as the expedition of the Argonauts, — from the 
other legends of this earlier race of heroes, and to arrange the 
latter class according to the localities assigned as the princi- 
pal scenes of their actions, beginning with 


(^.) ARGOS. 

At the head of the Argive line of heroes stands Inachos, 
the river-god, a son of Okeanos, like all the other river-gods. 
With the nymph Melia for his wife, he became the father of 
Phoroneus and lo, of whom the former, according to Argive 
legends, was the first man upon the earth. Such services as 
Prometheus was elsewhere believed to have rendered to early 
civilization, were there ascribed to Phoroneus. He was 
reputed to have founded the town of Argos, and to have estab- 
lished there the worship of Hera. With regard to lo, we 
have already related (in connection with Hermes) how she 
was loved by Zeus, and, to escape the jealousy of Hera, was 
transformed by him into a cow — how Hera, discovering the 
transformation, set a watch over lo, in the person of Argos, 
a giant with a hundred eyes, and how Hermes slew the watch- 
man and released lo. Another version of the story says that 
it was Hera who transformed lo into a cow, for the purpose 
of thwarting the love of Zeus for her. Argos had tethered 
her to an olive-tree in a grove sacred to Herxi, between the 
towns of Mykenae and Argos, and was there keeping guard 
when Hermes arrived and slew him. Though set free, lo did 
not yet regain her human form, but was compelled to wander 
through distant lands in the form of a white horned cow, 
goaded by a vexatious insect sent by Hera. At last, on 
reaching Egypt, she obtained rest, was restored to her human 
form, and became the mother of Epaphos. 

lo, the white horned cow, appears to have been a personifi- 
cation of the moon, like the Phoenician goddess Astarte, who 
was also represented in this form. Her wanderings were like 
the wanderings of the moon. Hera, who punished her, was 


the supreme goddess of the heavens. Argos, with liis many 
eyes, reminds us of the stars. The slaying of Argos by Her- 
mes was a favourite subject with ancient artists. / 

Epaphos became king of Egypt, and had a daughter called 
Libya (after the district of that name on the shore of the 
Mediterranean), who bore to Poseidon, the sea-god, two 
sons — Agenor and Belos. While the former became the 
head of a race that spread over Phcenicia, Cilicia, and on to 
Thebes in Greece, Belos remained in Egypt, succeeded to the 
throne, and marrying Anchirrhoe, a daughter of the Nile, 
had two sons, iEgyptos and Danaos. The latter was ap- 
pointed to rule over Arabia, the former over Libya, ^gyp- 
tos had fifty sons, and Danaos the same number of daughters. 
A dispute arose between the two families, and Danaos yielding 
took ship with his daughters and sailed to Argos, pursued all 
the way by the sons of ^gyptos. At Argos, the home of his 
race, he was kindly received by the reigning king, and pro- 
tected a:gainst the pursuers. 

At that time the district of Argos was suffering from a 
drought which Poseidon had angrily caused. Danaos sent out 
his daughters to search for a spring, and while they were so 
engaged it happened that one of them, Amymone, throwing 
her spear at a stag misse»l it, and hit a Satyr who was asleep in 
the brake. Pursued by the Satyr, she called on the name of 
Poseidon for help, and the god instantly appeared, drove off 
the Satyr, and for love of the beautiful Danaid cau:^ed a peren- 
nial spring to flow at Lerna, where he met her. Amymone 
bore to Poseidon Nauplios, the wrecker of Nauplia, who by 
false lights misled many ships to their destruction among rocks, 
and enriched himself from their cargoes. By a singular fatality 
he perished in this way himself at last. He had three sons: 

2 I 2 HEROES. 

Palamedes, celebrated for his inventive faculty, Oiax, the 
steersman, and Nausimedon, the ship captain. 

Meantime the sons of ^gyptos, it is said, having besieged 
Argos for some time, at length proposed to forget their differ- 
ence with Danaos, and to marry his daughters. Without 
relenting in the least, he agreed to give his daughters to them 
in marriage, but to each daughter he presented a knife, and 
commanded them all to slay each her own husband on the 
marriage night. All obeyed his order except Hypermnestra, 
who preferring to be regarded as of weak resolution than as a 
murderess, spared her husband, Lynkeus, and became the 
mother of the Argive line of kings. While Zeus approved 
the murderous deed of her forty-nine sisters, and sent Athene 
and Hermes to give them expiation, Hypermnestra was cast into 
a dungeon by her indignant father, her husband, Lynkeus, 
saving himself by flight. On being brought to trial she was 
however publicly acquitted ; her husband returning to Argos, 
succeeded Danaos on the throne, and in after times was widely 
respected, among other things for having founded the great 
festival in honour of the Argive Hera. The prize of victory 
in the games that accompanied that festival was a shield, 
not a wreath, as was elsewhere usual; the tradition be- 
ing that on the first occasion of these games Lynkeus pre- 
sented his son Abas with the shield which had belonged to 

Whether it was to obtain husbands for his daughters who 
had accomplished their own widowhood, or whether it was to 
decide among a multitude of suitors for their hands, Danaos 
held a kind of tournament, the victors in which were to be ac- 
cepted as husbands. On the morning of the contest he ranged 
his daughters together on the course, and by noon each had 


been carried off by a victorious athlete, a scion of some noble 

It was said that after death the DanaYdes, with the exception 
of Hypermncstra, were punished in Tartaros by having con- 
tinually to carry water, and pour it in the vain endeavour of 
filling a broken cistern. It may be that this form of punish- 
ment was selected for them as the most suitable for women, 
who generally in Greece were the drawers of water. At the 
same time it was very suggestive of the dry parched soil of 
Argos, the streams of which were always dried up in summer. 

From Abas, the son of Hypermncstra and Lynkeus, sprang 
the brothers Akrisios and Proetos, famous for their hatred 
of each other from infancy onwards. When they had grown 
up, Proetos, finding himself constantly defeated in the frater- 
nal encounters, fled to Lycia, and was there hospitably re- 
ceived by the king, lobates, and the queen, Amphianax, 
whose daughter, Stheneboea, he married. With the assist- 
ance of a Lycian army he was reinstated in his rights of sov- 
ereignty over Argos and Corinth, fortifying himself in the 
citadel of Tiryns, while his brother Akrisios held out in that 
of Larisa. Of both citadels, the massive structures, now in 
ruins, still bear witness to the fierce assaults which must have 
been made upon them, 

Proetos had three daughters, whose exceeding beauty made 
them prizes which the noblest youth of the country sought to 
win. But they were haughty, despised the common usages of 
the times, scorned to take part in the worship of Dionysos, 
and made ridicule of the sanctity of Hera's ancient image and 
shrine. For this they were punished by a form of insanity 
which drove them ever to wander restlessly among the woods 
md hills of Argos and Arcadia. It is further said that, being 

214 HEROES. 

under the hallucination that they were cows, they lowed like 
kine as they wandered about. The father summoned Melam- 
pos, the prophet and priest, to work a cure upon his daughters, 
but on the prophet's stipulating a third of the kingdom as his 
reward, dismissed him again. The evil grew worse, for the 
other women of the country began to yield to the infatuation 
of abandoning their husbands and slaying their children. 
Melampos was recalled, and this time demanded an additional 
third of the kingdom for his brother, Bias. Proetos agreed, 
and Melampos, collecting a body of active youths, pursued 
the three princesses over the mountains, and on to Sikyon, 
where the eldest of the three died, and the other two, after 
being purified, were given in marriage to Melampos and Bias 

This legend also would seem to have originated in connec- 
tion with the very ancient worship of Hera, as queen of the 
heavens, at Argos ; the wanderings of the three daughters of 
Proetos, under the imaginary form of cows, having reference, 
like the similar wanderings of lo, to the moon. 

Returning to Akrisios, we find him troubled at the prospect 
of having no heir to his throne. To this question the oracle 
at Delphi replied that a daughter would be born to him, and 
that she would bear a son who would slay his grandfather, and 
rule in his stead. The daughter, Danae by name, was born, 
and to prevent the latter part of the oracle from being fulfilled, 
she was imprisoned in a subterranean chamber. But a shower 
of gold, sent by Zeus, penetrated to her, and she became the 
mother of an infant destined to fulfil the oracle and to become 
conspicuous among the ancient heroes. He was named 
Perseus, probably with reference to his being a son of Zeus, 
the great god of light, and to his having been born in dark- 

DANAE. 215 

ness, in which respect, as in several others, he may be com- 
pared with Apollo, whose mother wa.s Leto (darkness), while 
his father was Zeus. The shower of gold would thus signify 
abeam of golden light. 

Akrisios, hearing the voice of the child, summoned his 
dauglitcr to the altar of Zeus to give a solemn explanation of 
the circumstance. Disbelieving her story, he placed mother 
and child in a closed box, and committed them to the waves. 
After rocking about on the bosom of the sea, the box was at 
last carried towards the island of Seriphos, and was there 
caught in a net belonging to a fisherman named Diktys, who 
took the waifs to his house, and acted kindly by them. It was 
a very barren island, affording little but shelter to the families 
of fishermen that inhabited it. The chief or king of it was 
Polydektes, a brother of Diktys, just mentioned, and as 
notorious for the gaiety of his habits as was his brother for 
his simplicity. Struck with the beauty of Danae, and finding 
that her son Perseus stood in the way of the fulfilment of his 
desires, Polydektes became anxious to get rid of him, and 
gladly availed himself of the opportunity that presented itself 
when Perseus, not to be outdone in professions of loyalty, 
vowed that he would even fetch the head of the Gorgon 
Medusa for the king, should he wish it. 

Perseus set forth sadly on his mission, but took courage 
when Hermes and Athene, who often lent their aid in heroic 
adventures, appeared to him, and led him to where the Graeae 
lived, — three aged women, with only one eye and one tooth 
in common. Perseus, seizing the indispensable eye and tooth, 
refused to give them back until they told him where to find 
the nymphs who had in keeping the helmet of Hades, the 
winged shoes, and the pouch necessary for his future move- 

2l6 HEROES. 

ments. On arriving at where the nymphs lived, he obtained 
from them the objects in question, to which Hermes added the 
knife {harpe) with which he had cut off the head of Argos. 
Buckling on the winged shoes, he proceeded towards tlie 
Gorgons with the speed of a bird, the helmet of Hades making 
him invisible, but concealing nothing from his sight. It is 
further said that Athene instructed him how to approach 
Medusa without being petrified, as was usual, by her stare. 
To this end she gave him a shield of polished brass, onwhich, 
as in a mirror, he could see the reflection of the Gorgon, while 
he himself, unseen, advanced and cut off her head. The in- 
stant he had done this there sprang from the trunk of Medusa 
Pegasos, the winged horse, and Chrysaor, the father of Geryo- 
neus. Perseus, placing the head quickly into the pouch which 
the nymphs had given him, hastened from the scene, pursued 
by the two sisters of Medusa for some distance. 

Among his adventures on the way back to Seriphos were the 
turning of Atlas into stone because the giant refused to receive 
him hospitably, and the release of Andromeda, whom he 
found, on passing over Ethiopia, bound to a rock on the sea- 
shore as a victim to a great sea-monster. She was a daughter 
of Kepheus and Kassiepeia, the king and queen of Ethio- 
pia. The latter having vaunted herself equal in beauty to the 
Nereids, gave offence to them and to Poseidon also, who 
thereupon visited the country with a flood, and sent a dread- 
ful monster from the sea to destroy both men and cattle. On 
appealing to the oracle of Ammon in Libya, Kepheus was told 
that the evil would not abate until he exposed his beautiful 
daughter, Andromeda, to the monster. Compelled by his 
subjects to yield, the luckless father took her to the shore, and 
chained her to a rock, in the position in which Perseus found 

PElifiEUS. 217 

her. Struck with her beauty, Perseus undertook to save her 
on condition that she should become his wife. Kepheus 
agreed to this, and Perseus, after slaying the monster, un- 
chained the maiden. She had, however, been engaged be- 
forehand to Phineus, her father's brother, who, arriving 
with a strong body of soldiers, burst in upon the marriage 
feast. But the sight of the Gorgon's head turned them all to 
stone, and Perseus triumphantly carried off his bride. 

Arriving at Seriphos, he found that his mother and Diktys 
were being persecuted by Polydektes, and obliged to seek pro- 
tection at the altars of the gods. His course was to announce 
his arrival to the king, who at once assembled his nobles to 
witness how the young hero had kept his word. Perseus ap- 
peared in the assembly, and producing the Gorgon's head, 
turned the king and all his nobles instantly to stone. Not 
content with punishing in this manner the principal persecu- 
tors of his mother, Perseus is said to have turned the island 
itself into a great barren rock, and to have spared only the 
excellent Diktys and the fishing population attached to him. 
Even the frogs of the island became dumb, said an ancient 

Having thus fulfilled his promise, and rescued his mother, 
Perseus handed over the winged shoes, the pouch, and the 
helmet that made him invisible, to Hermes, to be restored to 
the nymphs. The head of Medusa he gave to Athene, who 
ever after wore it on her shield. Accompanied by Danae and 
Andromeda, he set out for Argos to find his grandfather, 
Akrisios, who, however, in the meantime having left Argos in 
consequence of an increasing dread lest the oracle should be 
fulfilled regarding his death, had established himself at Larisa 
in Thessaly. Thither Perseus proceeded, and found, on his 

2l8 HEROES. 

arrival, the king, Teutamias, occupied with public games in 
honour of his deceased father. Perseus took part in the 
games, and by a fatality which justified the oracle, the disc 
whi^:h lie threw fell upon the foot of Akrisios, and caused his 
death. After burying his grandfather honourably at Larisa, 
Perseus returned to Argos to his mother and wife, but instead 
of establisliing himself there, exchanged Argos for Tiryns, 
which was then held by Megapenthes, a son of Prcetos, 
and soon after founded the ancient Mykenae, with its massive 

Perseus and Andromeda had two sons — Elektryon and 
Alkseos. Alkmene, the mother of Herakles, was a daugh- 
ter of the former, and her husband, Amphitryon, a son of 
the latter. It was also said that before leaving the court of 
her father, Kepheus, Andromeda had born a son, whom they 
called Perses, and left behind with his grandfather. From 
this Perses the Persian kings traced their lineage. The kings 
of Pontos and Cappadocia, claiming the same descent, intro- 
duced a figure of Perseus on their coins. In Tarsos and in 
Egypt also were traditions of ancient benefits derived from 
the Greek hero. 

While the wanderings of lo remind us of the wanderings of 
the moon, and lead us to connect the origin of the legends 
concerning her with the worship of Hera at Argos, the adven- 
tures of Perseus similarly suggest the apparent movement of 
the sun, and the effect of his light, particularly in slaying the 
dread monsters with which the imagination peoples darkness. 
It would seem, therefore, that the origin of the belief in these 
adventures must liave had some connection with the Argive 
worship of Zeus and Athene. 

His adventures, cither as an entire story or in parts, formed 


a most attractive subject to ancient poets, and were frequently- 
represented in v/orks of art, many of which wc still possess. 
One of the earliest examples of Greek sculpture to which an 
approximate date can be assigned, is a group on a temple at 
Selinus in Sicily, which represents him cutting off the Gor- 
gon's head, and belongs to the seventh century B. c. 

In Plate XXXI. he is figured holding the head of Medusa 
in one hand and the curved sword in the other. In Plate 
XXXII. is the rescue of Andromeda. 

(^.) CORINTH. 

Owing to its convenient situation on the isthmus between 
two seas, Corinth was from very early times an important seat 
of commerce ; and as such being chiefly dependent for its 
prosperity on the benignity of the sea-god Poseidon, had at 
an early period established his worship, and exalted him as its 
principal god. In the legends concerning the Corinthian 
heroes we would therefore expect to find decided traces of 
this worship, just as in those of Argoswe found traces of the 
early worship of Hera. 

With regard to Sisyphos, the first of these heroes, the 
legend was that he had chanced to see Zeus carrying off .^gina, 
the daughter of the river-god Asopos, and having marked the 
direction of their flight as towards the island of ^gina, de- 
termined to make capital of his knowledge, by informing 
Asopos of what he had seen, on condition that the river-god 
would create a spring of water on the parched citadel of Co- 
rinth — Acrocorinth, as it was Qalled. The terms were agreed 


to, and Sisyphos at once secured the afterwards famous foun- 
tain of Peirene. But Zeus could not permit the act of treach- 
ery to pass unpunished. He sent the god or daemon of death 
to claim him. Instead of yielding, Sisyphos bound the daemon 
with strong chains, and retained him, no one dying in the 
meantime, till Ares arrived and broke the chains. Sisyphos 
was then handed over to the daemon, but before departing 
charged his wife, Merope, not to offer the customary sacrifices 
for the dead, and thus to disappoint Pluto and Persephone. 
Arrived in Hades, he began to denounce this neglect on the 
part of his wife, and repeated his complaint so often that he 
was at last allowed to return to the upper world. Another 
version of the story has it that Herakles carried him off by 
force from Hades. In either case he returned to Corinth, lived 
to an advanced age, and after death was punished, as we have 
already related, by having to roll a huge stone up a height, 
which when it had gained the summit immediately rolled back. 

It may be that the idea of such a punishment was suggested 
by the backward and forward rolling of stones by the treacher- 
ous waves on the shore. At any rate we find a connection of 
Sisyphos with the worship of Poseidon in the statement that 
he, at the command of the Nereides, received the dead body 
of Melikertes from his mother, and instituted in his honour 
the Isthmian games, which afterwards were held in honour of 

More directly connected with the worship of the sea-god is 
the legend of Glaukos, the son of Sisyphos. The reference 
in his name to the colour of the sea is strengthened by the 
title of Pontics which he bore, and yet it is not with the sea 
directly, but with horses the accredited symbols of the waves, 
that he is associated. For some reason — from having been fed 




Perseus and Andromeda. 


on human flesh, according to one report — his horses became 
furious, and tore their master to pieces. In after times his 
name was a terror to equestrians in the hippodromes, the cur- 
rent belief being that Glaukos survived as an evil spirit wan- 
dering about and frightening horses. 

A figure of far greater importance than Glaukos in the 
legendary history of Corinth, was his son Bellerophon. 
Not that Corinth had been to any extent the scene of his ex- 
ploits; for, except the incident of the bridling of Pegasos, 
his memorable adventures were all conducted elsewhere — in 
Argos at first, and afterwards in Lycia. His story was, more- 
over, strangely blended with that of the Argive Perseus. It 
may be that the proximity of the two towns, and the political 
dependence of Corinth on Argos, wrought in time an assimi- 
lation in the legends of two heroes originally quite distinct. 
Or, on the other hand, it may be that the difference in the 
pursuits and religious inclinations of the two towns acted on 
the imagination in such a way as to alter a legend originally 
common to both, so much that each might in time fairly claim 
a separate hero of its own. Whichever way it may have been, 
the Corinthians were proud of Bellerophon, and in early 
times had a figure of his horse, Pegasos, on their coins. 

With regard to that wonderful winged horse, we have already 
related how it sprang from the neck of the Gorgon Medusa, 
when Perseus cut her head off. The legend proceeds to tell 
how it flew through the air, and did not set foot on earth until 
it reached the citadel of Corinth, where it halted to quench 
its thirst at the famous fountain of Peirene. Bellerophon, 
after trying in vain to catch it, api)lied to the seer Polyidos 
for advice, and was told to lay himself down to sleep at night 
beside the altar of Athene. This he did, and in the course 

2 22 HEROES. 

of his sleep dreamed that the goddess came and gave him a 
golden bridle, bidding him show it to his father, Poseidon, and 
at the same time sacrifice a white ox to him. Waking, he found 
the bridle, sacrificed the ox, and, on the advice of the seer, 
dedicated an altar to Athene. The horse at once took the bit, 
and from that time proved of the most service to its master. 

According to the ancient derivation, the name of Bellero- 
phon signifies the '^ slayer of Belleros," the story being that he 
had accidentally caused the death of a person of that^iartie, 
either his own brother, or a Corinthian noble. To obtain 
the necessary purification, he repaired to Argos, and was there 
kindly received by Prcetos, the reigning king. Unfortunately, 
however, the wife of Proetos, Stheneboea (or, as Homer calls 
her, Anteia), resembled Potiphar's wife in the bent of her 
passions, and finding the young hero firm against her temp- 
tations, resolved to accomplish his ruin, to this end charging 
him before the king with an attempt to violate her. Proetos, 
on hearing the charge, decided to send the youth to Lycia, 
to the court of lobates, the father of Stheneboea, with a letter 
written in strange characters, in which the Lycian king was 
instructed to compass the death of the bearer. The parting 
scene, where Bellerophon receives the letter, and Stheneboea 
still gazes affectionately on him, is represented on several 
ancient painted vases. 

Arriving at the Lycian court, Bellerophon was entertained 
hospitably for nine days. On the tenth day the king inquired 
the business of his guest, and received the letter of Proetos. 
Acting on the instructions of the letter, lobates despatched 
him with orders to slay the Chimaera* (a monster composed 

* It was represented in art as a lion with a goat's head springing from 


cf a lion in front, a goat in the middle, and a serpent behind), 
which infested the mountains, and slaughtered all who at- 
tacked it. But Pegasos carried his master up in the air beyond 
the reach of the monster, and yet not too far for his spear to 
have deadly effect. (Plate XXXII.) Bellerophon returned 
triumphant. Though his scheme had not succeeded, the king 
had at any rate got rid of a terrible enemy to his subjects, and 
determined a second time to profit by the prowess of the young 
hero, if he should fail in causing his death. Accordingly he 
sent him to fight against the Solymi, a hostile neighbouring 
tribe, from which he again returned victorious. With like 
success he fought against the Amazons, those warlike women 
of Asia Minor, whom the ancient poets and artists delighted 
to represent as fighting stoutly against the best heroes of 
Greece, but always being vanquished. With this result they 
opposed, for example, Herakles and Theseus, and afterwards, 
in the Trojan war, took part against the Greeks. (See Plate 
XXXIII.) It would seem from their connection with the 
Ephesian Artemis, among other reasons, that the legends con- 
cerning them originated in the worship of the moon goddess. 
In a last effort to secure the death of Bellerophon, the 
Lycian king planned an ambush for him of his bravest knights, 
all of whom, when the time came, perished at the hands of 
the hero, who, it then became clear, could be no other than 
the son of a god. Instead of being put to further encounters, 
he received the hand of the king's daughter in marriage, and 
with her the half of the kingdom. The grateful Lycians 
bestowed on him a large estate, well wooded and fitted for 

its back. Tlic statement of its spitting fire may have reference to the vol- 
canic features of Lycia. 

224 HEROES. 

agriculture. . His wife bore him three blooming children : 
Isandros, Hippolochos, and Laodameia. In short, he 
had reached the pinnacle of happiness. But the gods pre- 
pared a catastrophe for him. He became insane, and wan- 
dered about sad and alone, avoiding the company of men. 
His son Isandros was slain by Ares, his daughter Laodameia, 
by Artemis. According to another report, repeated success 
in hazardous adventures had inflamed him with the desire to 
mount to Olympos on the back of his wonderful horse. In 
the attempt he fell to earth, smitten by the thunderbotfof 
Zeus, and died. 

(^.) THEBES. 

It is a relief to turn from the bloodshed and perilous adven- 
tures of the Corinthian and Argive heroes, to the comparatively 
tranquil tone of the Theban legends, with all their variety of 
character and incident. We would not be understood to say 
that the tales of Thebes are free from horrors, but only that 
the general impression left, especially by the earliest of them, 
concerns the daring and achievements of mind rather than the 
exploits of physical courage. 

First among the heroes of Thebes is Kadmos, the founder 
of the ancient city — the Kadmeia, as it was called — who, while 
rendering important services to the population gathered round 
him there in the management of their public affairs, is said to 
have conferred on Greece generally an inestimable blessing in 
the form of an alphabet, or means of communicating thoughts 
in writing, previously unknown in that land. It is this 
alphabet, more or less modified, that we still employ. That 
he found the letters of it in use among the Phoenician traders 
who visited Greece in remote early times, establishing factories 

KADMOS. 225 

in many places, — among others, in the neighbourhood of 
Thebes, — is probable; but to' believe, as the Greeks did, that 
Kadmos was a Phoenician by birth, and that the system of 
civilization which he introduced was, like the alphabet, Phoe- 
nician, was only another instance of the readiness with which 
the Greeks listened to stories that traced the beginnings of 
their civilization back to the influence of the more ancient 
nations of the East. 

The genealogy of Kadmos, according to the legend, com- 
menced with the sea-god Poseidon and Libya, who had two 
sons — Belos (Baal) and Agenor; the former becoming king 
of Egypt, the latter of Phoenicia. By his wife, Telephassa, 
Agenor had one daughter — Europa — and three sons, — Kad- 
mos, Phoenix, and Kilix. The sister having disappeared — 
carried off, it was said, on the back of a white bull, into which 
Zeus had transformed himself for love of her — the brothers 
were sent to search for her in different directions. Phoenix 
and Kilix, wearied of searching in vain, settled down in the 
countries named after them, while Kadmos, accompanied by 
his mother, proceeded through the Greek islands northwards 
to the coast of Thrace. There his mother died and was buried. 
He proceeded to Delphi, to ask the oracle concerning his 
sister. The advice was to search no longer, but to follow a cow 
which should come in his way, and where it lay down to rest 
there to found a city. Leaving Delphi, he saw a cow, and 
followed it through Bocotia, till it reached the place where 
Thebes M'as afterwards built, and there lay down. Intending 
to sacrifice the cow in honour of Athene, his protecting 
goddess, Kadmos sent his attendants to a fountain not far off 
to fetch water. It happened, however, that the fountain was 
watched by a terrible dragon, which killed his men. With 

2 26 HEROES. 

the aid of Athene, Kadmos slew the monster, and, at the com- 
mand of the goddess, sowed its teeth in the ground, from 
which there instantly sprang a number of wild armed giants, 
called Spartae. By throwing a stone among them, Kadmos 
so roused their passions that they fell upon each other with 
such fury and effect that only five of them survived. From 
these five the noblest families of Thebes afterwards traced their 

To appease Ares, whose dragon he had slain, Kadmos was 
compelled to devote himself to the service of that god for^ight 
years, or a ''long year" as it was called, the usual period 
prescribed for penance in such cases. His term of service 
having expired, he was raised by Athene to the throne of 
Thebes ; and to complete his happiness Zeus gave him Har- 
monia, the beautiful daughter of Ares and Aphrodite, for his 
wife. The gods of Olympos went to the marriage feast, and 
made presents to the pair. The Muses sang a marriage song. 
The gift of Kadmos to his wife consisted of a splendid dress 
(^peplos), which Athene had worked for him, and the famous 
necklace made by Hephgestos. From the marriage sprang 
four daughters, — Semele, Ino, Autonoe, Agaue, — and 
one son, — Polydoros. 

Autonoe married Aristaeos, to whom she bore Aktaeon, 
the young huntsman who, for the misfortune of having once 
seen Artemis bathing, was transformed into a stag, and de- 
voured by his own hounds. Ino married Athamas, of whom 
it is said that, being seized of a frenzy, he pursued his wife to 
do her violence, and that she eluded him by leaping into the 
sea, after which she was regarded as a marine goddess under 
the name of Leukothea. Semele became the mother of the 
wine-god Dionysos, and at the birth of her child was, as has 


been already related, struck dead by the thunderbolt of Zeus. 
Agaue, marrying Echion, one of the five surviving Spartae, 
became the mother of Pentheus, who, after the death of 
Polydoros, succeeded to the sovereignty of Thebes. 

Semele being dead, her statement that Zeus himself was the 
father of her child was disbelieved by her sisters, especially 
by Agaue. But after her son Dionysos had grown up, and 
returned to Thebes from his triumphant journey eastward to 
India, Agaue and the other women of Thebes changed their 
minds, and embraced his worship with its extravagant rites. 
Pentheus, then king of Thebes, opposed the introduction of the 
new religion, but in the course of his opposition'was slain by 
his mother and her excited companions. Labdakos, the 
son of Polydoros, succeeded to the throne. Meantime Agaue, 
recovering her senses under the affliction, fled to Illyrium. 

Grief at the calamities that fell so thickly on their children 
at last drove Kadmos and Harmonia from Thebes. They 
wandered to Illyrium, and there found peace in the grave. 
Their bodies, it was believed, had been transformed into two 
snakes that lay beside their tomb, while their spirits had been 
placed in Elysion by Zeus. 

After Kadmos, the next figures of importance are the twin- 
brothers Amphion and Zethos, who resemble in many re- 
spects the ** great tv>^in-brethren " Castor and Pollux, being like 
them represented riding on white horses, and appearing with 
aid in times of distress. Between the two brothers there was 
a great difference of character, Amphion being devoted to 
music, and excelling in the skill with which he played the lyre 
given him by Hermes, while Zethos applied himself wholly to 
rough life, such as hunting and herding. What Zethos did by 
physical force, Amphion accomplished by the persuasion of his 

2 28 HEROES. 

Strains, as was shown in the case of their building the walls of 
Thebes, the population of which had so far outgrown the limits 
of the old town founded by Kadmos as to require new barriers 
against invasion. While Zethos toiled in bringing huge stones 
for this purpose, Amphion, like Orpheus, had only to strike his 
lyre, and still larger stones followed whither he led the way. 
Such was the story, the intention of which seems to have 
originally been to point to the combination of actual strength 
With harmony in placing the blocks required in good masonry. 
The same idea recurs in the legend of the building of-the 
Trojan walls by Apollo and Poseidon, the former god corres- 
ponding to Amphion and the latter to Zethos. The seven 
gates of Thebes answered to the seven strings of the lyre. 

The mother of the two Theban brothers was Antiope, who, 
according to an early report, was a daughter of the river-god 
Asopos. In the usual genealogy, however, she was described 
as a daughter of Thebe and Nykteus (the ''dark and 
stormy"), who held the office of regent in Thebes during the 
minority of Labdakos. Zeus having approached Antiope in 
the form of a Satyr, she was driven from her father's house, 
and forced to seek refuge, which she found with Epopeus, 
the king of Sikyon. Under his protection she remained some 
time, the father meanwhile demanding in vain that she should 
be given up to him. Ultimately she was given up to Lykos 
("light ") the brother of Nykteus, but, as his name implies, of 
quite an opposite character. Returning with him, she gave 
birth to twin boys on the way, in the neighbourhood of 
Eleutherae. The infants were entrusted to a herdsman to be 
brought up. The mother was carried off to Thebes, where, as 
a contrast to the gentle treatment she had experienced from 
Lykos, she was subjected by his wife, Dirke, to relentless 


cruelty. After enduring continued persecution for some years, 
Antiope fled from Thebes, and taking the direction of Mount 
Kithseron, where her children had been left, at last reached 
the house of the herdsman who had taken care of them. She 
did not, however, recognize him, nor was she aware that the 
two youths, who took kindly to her, were her sons. It 
happened just then that Dirke, who had come to Mount 
Kitha^ron to take part in some Bacchic ceremony, detected 
her escaped victim, and ordered the two young herdsmen to 
fetch a wild bull from their herd, and to bind her to its horns, 
that she might be dragged to death. They would have obeyed 
her command, had not the old herdsman at the moment 
recognized Antiope, and revealed her as their mother. On 
hearing the story of her former troubles, Amphion and Zethos, 
in their indignation, seized Dirke, bound her to the bull 
which they had brought, and looked on while she perished 
miserably. The legend adds that Dirke was transformed into 
a fountain, which bore her name. 

On the return of Antiope with her sons to Thebes, Lykos 
abdicated in their favour, and then commenced the building 
of the walls, of which we have already spoken. Amphion 
married Niobe, the daughter of the Lydian king Tantalos, 
and had a family of sons and daughters, whose beauty, in their 
mother's eyes, might measure with that of Apollo and Artemis. 
How she was punished for her pride has already been related. 
After the death of Amphion and Zethos, caused, it was said, 
by the arrows of Apollo, the sovereignty of Thebes finally 
passed to Labdakos, of whose reign little is said, his fame 
consisting chiefly in his being the father of Laios and grand- 
father of CEdipos. 

This Laios married Jokaste, a daughter of Menoikeus, and 

230 HEROES. 

had by her a son, CEdipos. An oiacle had said that the child, 
on growing to manhood, would cause the death of his father. 
To avert this danger, Laios exposed the newly-born infant on 
Mount Kithseron, expecting it to perish. It was, however, 
found by some herdsmen, conveyed by them to Corinth, and 
there given over to the king, Polybos, whose wife was child- 
less, and took readily to the castaway. Arriving at years of 
manhood, CEdipos inquired at an oracle concerning his paren- 
tage, and was told in reply to avoid the lands of his ancestors, 
for otherwise he would cause his father's death, and thereafter 
marry his own mother. Puzzled by an answer so mysterious, 
and being uncertain whether Polybos might not have been his 
father, he left the court at Corinth, and wandered about the 
country. In the course of his wanderings he met Laios tra- 
velling with a retinue. A quarrel arose between CEdipos and 
some of the royal attendants. Laios took the part of his men, 
and was slain in the fight by his son, who, unaware of the 
blackness of the crime he had committed, proceeded on his 
way to Thebes. There he found great distress prevailing, in 
consequence of the loss of life caused by a Sphinx — a mon- 
ster with the body of a lion, and the head, breast, and arms 
of a woman. This creature had a riddle which she propounded 
to all who approached her, and on their failing to resolve it, 
as always happened, threw them from the high rock where she 
lived. Not so CEdipos, who read the riddle rightly; upon 
which the Sphinx cast herself from the rock, and perished. 
The prize offered to the man who should succeed in getting 
rid of the Sphinx was the hand of Jokaste, the widow of Laios, 
along with the throne of Thebes. CEdipos married her, and 
fulfilled the oracle. 

They had two sons, Eteokles and Polyneikes, and two 


daughters, Antigone and Ismene, neither being aware of 
the criminality of ihcir marriage, \mtil, on inrjiiiring at tlie 
oracle the cause of certain misfortunes that had befallen the 
country, they received an answer which revealed the facts in 
all their horror, Jokaste slew herself, while CEdipos, after 
putting out his eyes, forsook Thebes, and wandered about 
accompanied by his faithful daughter, Antigone. His two 
sons succeeded him in the government, quarrelled with each 
other, however, and ultimately fell, both of them, in a personal 
encounter, as we shall relate afterwards. 

The various acts of this terrible tragedy were reproduced on 
tlie Athenian stage with all the poetic power of ^schylus and 


In hnrmony with tlic wild, rocky features of the country, 
the early legends of Thessaly tell of furious wars, in which the 
combatants fought with trunks of trees, or hurled rocks and 
even hills at each other. It was there that the war of the gods 
against the Giants and Titans took place. There the brothers 
Otos and Ephialtes heaped hill on mountain in their ambition 
to scale the heavens. There Poseidon cleft the mountain- 
range asunder with his trident, and formed the pleasant vale 
of Tempe. Mount Olympos, with its clouded summit, where 
the gods were once supposed to dwell, was there, and there 
also was lolkos, the seat of the ancient race of the Minyae. 
Gryton was the hold of the Lapithae, and the scene of those 
combats between them and thu Centaurs which formed in 
after times so attractive a subject to Greek sculptors. 

Among the Lapitlux the two ])rincipal figmres are Ixion 
and his son Peirithoos. Ixion's wife was Dia, a daughter 


of Deioneus. Previous to the marriage he had promised her 
father, according to ancient usage, many valuable presents, 
which he afterwards refused to give. Deioneus endeavoured 
to indemnify himself, but in the course of the attempt per- 
ished in a great hole, full of fire, which had been cunningly 
prepared for him by Ixion. For this — the first murder of a 
relation, it was believed, that had taken place in the world— 
Ixion was punished with frenzy, and wandered about, unable 
to obtain expiation from gods or men, till at last Zeus received 
him compassionately, and purified him. But the purification 
was not so complete as to prevent him from conceiving a 
passion for the goddess Hera, who, knowing his desires, de- 
ceived him with a cloud shaped like herself. From this union 
sprang the race of Centaurs. Ixion, being blind enough to 
boast of his supposed success with Hera, was despatched by 
Zeus to Tartaros, and there bound by Hermes to a winged 
wheel, which constantly revolved, as an eternal example of 
the punishment due to such crime. 

The same passion for a goddess descended to his son Peiri- 
thoos, who tried to carry off Persephone from Hades, for which 
he was placed in chains in Tartaros. But the event on which 
his fame chiefly turns was his marriage with Deidamia. By 
his invitation, the Centaurs of the neighbouring mountains 
went to the banquet, and, being unused to the influence of 
wine, could not suppress excitement. The wild Eurytion 
laid hold of the bride, his fellows rushed towards her maidens, 
and a scene of grand confusion took place ; Peirithoos and 
the Lapithae, with the help of his friend Theseus, from 
Attica, at last succeeding in driving the Centaurs away. 

Of Kaineus, another of the Lapithai, it is related that, 
having been originally a beautiful virgin, she was changed into a 

THRACE. 233 

man by Poseidon, and made invulnerable, as was proved in a 
fight with the Centaurs; for, in spite of the rocks and trunks 
of trees wliich they struck him with, and heaped above him, 
he remained unwounded, and sank into the earth alive, — a 
scene represented in several ancient works of sculpture and 
vase-painting still in existence. 

With regard to the Centaurs, the usual form in which they 
were represented was that of the body and legs of a horse, with 
the head, arms, and body of a man down to the waist. In 
early works of art, however, they have the legs of a man in 
place of the forelegs of the horse. 

Cheiron seems to have had nothing in common with them 
but his form ; for he was wise and just, well-meaning and kindly, 
a friend of gods and heroes, and skilled in medicine, music, 
and various arts. The young Achilles was brought up under 
his care and tuition, in the cave where he lived, on Mount 
Pelion. So also were Jason and Asklepios. He was the 
friend of Peleus and of Herakles, and his death was an exam- 
ple of the self-sacrifice which had characterized his life. In 
trying to make peace between Herakles and the Centaurs, he 
had been accidentally hit by a poisoned arrow from the bow 
of Herakles. The wound baffling all his skill, and causing 
acute pain, he offered himself to die in the room of Prometheus, 
and was accepted by the gods. 

(c) THRACE. 

The burden of all the early Thracian legends is the strange 
divine influence of music and song. Whether the passion for 
music, which may be supposed to have given rise to the 
legends, originated among the ungenial northern hills and 



valleys of Thrace, or whether, as is supposed, it was trans- 
planted thither by immigrants from the district of Pieria, 
with its ancient fountain of the Muses, it would be hard to 
decide. All that is certain is, that the belief concerning 
Orpheus, the principal figure in these legends, was common 
to both regions. 

Orpheus was regarded as a son of the muse Kalliope and 
the god Apollo. From his mother he inherited the fascinating 
power with which he played the lyre and sang, so that the 
birds of the air, the fish in the streams, wild beasts, even trees, 
rocks, and hills, gathered round him to listen. The subject 
of his song was always the beautiful Eurydike, whom he had 
loved and lost. She had died through the poisoned bite of a 
snake that lurked in the grass over which she had to run to 
escape from Aristseos , who also loved her. Her sister nymphs, 
accompanied by Orpheus, wandered over the hills and valleys, 
filling the air with plaintive strains to call her back again. 
Orpheus carried his search for her even down to the gloomy 
shades of the lower world, the sweetness of his music soothing 
the monsters and wicked spirits that dwell there, and otherwise 
would have resisted his progress. Even the hardened hearts 
of Persephone and the merciless Erinys were touched by his 
passionate grief. It was agreed that Eurydike should be per- 
mitted to return with him to the upper world, — the only con- 
dition attached to the agreement being that he should not turn 
to look upon her face all the way back. His patience, however, 
gave way. The bargain became null, and Eurydike must in- 
stantly retrace her steps, and b'e lost to him for ever. For seven 
months he sat in doleful mood by the banks of the river 
Strymon, under the open sky, refusing food or drink. Then 
he withdrew to the higher wintry regions of the mountains 


Rhodope and H?emos, to nurse his sorrow in greater solitude, 
but was discovered by a band of Maenads out upon some wild 
Bacchic mission, and torn by them limb from limb. The 
Muses, it was said, gathering the limbs, c'onveyed them to 
Pieria, on Mount Olympos, and buried them there. His head 
and lyre floated down the Hebros, and were carried by the sea, 
the lyre sounding sweetly with the swell and fall of the waves, 
to the island of Lesbos, celebrated in after times for its poets 
and musicians. There the head was buried, and nightingales 
sang sweeter beside it than elsewhere in Greece. But in Thrace 
also a tomb was pointed out as being that of Orpheus, while 
a sanctuary was established in his honour. 

In later times a religious system with mysterious rites and 
ceremonies, said to have been instituted by Orpheus, and bear- 
ing his name, was widely propagated in Greece. It may be 
that his connection with the worship of Dionysos, referred to 
in the legends both of Pieria and Thrace, was regarded as 
sufficient warrant for associating with his name religious in- 
stitutions having much in common with the Dionysiac myste- 

It is said that Orpheus accompanied the expedition of the 
Argonauts, but at what period of his life we do not know. 

To the same region of Thrace belongs the legend of Tha- 
myris, a son of the king Philammon and the nymph 
Argiope, distinguished for his personal beauty as well as his 
minstrelsy. He was, however, inordinately vain, and on the 
occasion of a visit to the court of Eurytos, at Gi^chalia, 
boasted himself not inferior to the Muses themselves, the 
daughters of Zeus. But on his way homeward he was met by 
them ; they put his eyes out, and took away his power of song 
and music. 

236 HEROES. 

(/:) ATTICA. 

The people of Attica, generally speaking, believed that their 
first ancestors had sprung from the earth, and by some process 
been transformed from trees or rocks, or perhaps from animals, 
into men and women. The change was not supposed to have 
been direct and instantaneous, as we may infer from the form 
ascribed to Kekrops, the first of the race, which was that of 
a man with extremities in the shape of snakes in place of hu- 
man legs. In later times of learned speculation this Kekrops 
was thought to have been an immigrant from Egypt. Proofs 
of an early immigration into Attica are certainly not wanting, 
but they do not point to Egypt as the source of it. They 
point to Crete, which in the time of Minos held Attica, as 
it probably held other places, as a dependency. 

Kekrops according to the legend, ruled as king over the 
primitive race of Attica, established himself on the Acropolis 
of Athens, and gathered a township round him, which he 
called Kekropia. He gave his people laws, and taught them 
to worship Zeus and Athene-Polias. It was during his reign 
that the celebrated contest took place between Poseidon and 
Athene for the control of Attica. Kekrops was chosen to de- 
cide, and, arguing that the sea was common to all, while the 
olive was peculiarly adapted to the soil of his country, gave 
his decision in favour of the goddess. He had three daugh- 
ters, — Herse, Aglauros, and Pandrosos, — all three names 
apparently referring to the fertilizing fall of dew. The last 
mentioned was the first priestess of Athene, Of the other two, 
Herse became the mother of Keryx, from whom the priestly 
family of heralds in Attica derived their lineage. His father 
was Hermes, the divine herald. Aglauros bore a daughter to 


the god Ares. Her name was Alkippe, and her story, that 
she loved Halirrhotios, a son of Poseidon, and was slain by 
Ares. For that crime a court called the Areopagus was 
appointed to try the god, and continued thereafter to sit on 
cases of murder. 

The successor of Kekrops was Erichthonios, who was 
described as being altogether of the form of a snake. He was 
the offspring of Hephaestos and Gaea, was the fondling of 
Athene, and when he obtained the throne of Attica, taught his 
people to worship the ancient wooden image of the goddess, 
and instituted in her honour the famous Panathenaic games. 
The story of his infancy was that Athene handed him in a 
closed box to the three daughters of Kekrops, with orders not 
to open it. Two of the sisters, Herse and Aglauros, yielded 
to curiosity, opened the box, and on seeing a snake within, 
were seized with frantic terror and threw themselves from the 
rocks of the Acropolis. Erichthonios was brought up within 
the sanctuary of the goddess. 

Erichthonios was succeeded by his son Pandion, and he 
again by his son Erechtheus, with whom the dynasty of the 
line of Kekrops came to an end, passing over to Ion, a reputed 
son of Apollo, and the ancestor of the Ionian race. Erech- 
theus and all his family perished in a battle against Eumol- 
pos, the prince of Eleusis. The result of their death, however, 
was that the old strife between Attica and Eleusis was put an 
end to, and the two kingdoms united in one. 

Besides his son Erechtheus, Pandion had two daughters, 
Prokne and Philomela, of whom a touching story is told. 
It would seerrx that in the course of a war with Labdakos of 
Thebes, Pandion had obtained important assistance from 
Tereus, a king of Thrace, and for this offered him the hand 


of his daughter Prokne. Afterwards the Thracian desired her 
sister also, and, pretending that Prokne was dead, obtained 
Philomela as his wife. To prevent the former from revealing 
the truth, he.tore out her tongue, and placed her in a cage in a 
wood. But his end was not thus gained ; for Prokne con- 
trived to send her sister a piece of draper}- on which she had 
embroidered a representation of the facts, which her sister 
readily understood. The two sisters then combined to exe- 
cute a terrible revenge on Tereus, placing the flesh of his son 
Itys, whom they killed, before him as a dish. Tereus drew 
his sword, and pursued the sisters till all three were changed 
into birds — he into a lapwing, Prokne into a swallow, and 
Philomela into a nightingale. The Latin poets reversed the 
stor}- of the two sisters, sapng that it was Philomela whose 
tongue was cut out, their object being, since her name is the 
same as that of the nightingale, to account for the silence of 
that bird except in the springtime. 

The Attic legend of Boreas, the wind-god, who carried off 
Oreithyia, has already been given, as has also that of Keph- 
alos and Prokris. We shall therefore pass on to Ion, who, 
when the male line of Kekrops had become extinct, succeeded 
to the throne of Attica. 

Ion was a son of Apollo and Kreusa, a daughter of Erech- 
theus, and at his birth was taken away from his mother, who 
afterwards married Xuthos, and remained childless. Going 
to Delphi to consult the oracle about their prospects of pos- 
terity, Xuthos and Kreusa were told by the god to adopt as 
their son the first youth they should meet. This happened to 
be Ion, who had been brought up in the temple of Delphi, 
and who, agreeably to the command of the god, was adopted 
by the childless pair. 

CRETE. 239 

According to another legend, Pandion was driven froni 
Attica by the sons of Metion, and took refuge with Pylos, 
the king of Megara, where he found and adopted ^geus, who, 
after Pandion's death, advanced upon Attica, and, with the 
assistance of his brothers, Pallas, Nisos, and Lykos, recovered 
the kingdom of his adopted father, reigned in Athens, and 
became the father of the renowned hero, Theseus, whose 
exploits we shall relate hereafter. 

ig.) CRETE. 

The position of the island of Crete, its extent and fertility, 
appear to have attracted the early Phoenician traders to its 
shores. They founded the towns of Knosos and Gortys, and 
so develop)ed the resources of the island as to give it a power- 
ful ascendency over the other islands of the Archipelago, and 
extending to various districts of the mainland of Greece, 
including Attica, as has just been said. They introduced 
the worship of Astarte and Moloch ; and when, generations 
afterwards, the island had become completely Hellenized, 
through the successive immigrations of Achseans and Dorians, 
there were still found current among the people legends that 
could only be explained in connection with the religion of 
the Phoenicians. Of this kind were the legends of Talos, 
Itanos, and the river Jardanos. The Greek immigrants 
settled in the towns that had been planted by the Phoenicians, 
adapting themselves to existing arrangements, it appears, and 
accepting the ancient traditions of the island as a basis for 
legends of a purely Greek construction. 

These legends commence with Europa, whom Zeus saw 
and loved while she was gathering spring buds near Sidon, 

240 HEROES. 

where her father, Agenor (or Phoenix, as some said), was king. 
The god, transforming himself into a white bull, carried her off 
on his back over the sea towards the south coast of Crete, and 
landed with her in the district of Gortys and Phsestos, where 
Asterion was then the reigning king. Europa gave birth 
there to three sons, — Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Sarpe- 
don, — who grew up under the care of Asterion, to whom 
Zeus had commended their mother. How familiar the people 
of the island must have been with the various phases of this 
legend, may be seen from the ancient coins of Gortys'and 
Phaestos, with their representations, now of a bull alone, now 
of Europa riding on him, and at other times of Europa seated 
among the branches of a plane-tree. 

The oldest traditions describe Minos as ruling the island 
with exemplary justice, extending its maritime power and its 
supremacy over the neighbouring islands and countries. He 
established among his people a wise system of laws, which 
formed, it was believed, in after times, the basis of the legis- 
lation of Lykurgos. These laws, he said, were communicated 
to him by his father, Zeus, with whom he went every ninth 
year to hold communion in a sacred cave in the island. 
So high was his reputation for justice, that when he died, 
so people thought, he was appointed a judge in the lower 

The wife of Minos was Pasiphae, a daughter of the sun- 
god Helios and Perseis. It is necessary to bear her parent- 
age in mind for the sake of obtaining a right clue to the 
explanation of the legend concerning her. For, as a daughter 
of Helios and Perseis, she may well have been originally a 
goddess of the moon, and as such represented under the form 
of a white cow. Her name, Pasiphae, would be appropriate 


for such an office. She bore to Minos two daughters — Ariad- 
ne and Phaedra — of whom more will be told hereafter. 

Minos, it was said, on being chosen king of the island, 
proceeded to the sea-shore to offer, in presence of his people, 
a sacrifice to his father, Zeus, calling on the sea-god Poseidon 
to send up a victim for that purpose from the sea. Poseidon 
heard, and sent a shimmering white bull. In this act of 
compliance on the part of the sea-god, Minos perceived that 
his supremacy at sea was secured. Instead, however, of sac- 
rificing the white bull, he placed it among his own herd which 
browsed near Gortys — a herd which is elsewhere said to have 
belonged to the sun-god. Poseidon, taking offence at the 
deceit, caused the bull to become wild, and at the same time 
inflamed the queen, Pasiphae, with an unnatural desire towards 
it. The bull broke from his stall, and was pursued by Pasiphae 
over hills and through woods, till finally the great artist 
Daedalos succeeded in holding him to the meadow, and in 
satisfying the desires of the queen, who afterwards gave birth 
to Minotauros, a creature with the body and limbs of a man, 
and the head of a bull. Dcxdalos had now to employ his skill 
in making a vast labyrinth, with intricate winding passages, 
from which no one who entered could find his way out. 
Within it Minotauros was placed, and received as victims the 
persons sent to Minos periodically by tributary states. Such 
tribute, consisting of seven boys and seven girls of noble 
families, Minos had levied on Athens as a satisfaction for the 
murder of his son Androgeos by ^geus, the king of Attica. 
Every eight years the grievous levy was despatched to Crete, 
till Theseus, the son of ^geus, put an end to it in a manner 
which we shall afterwards have occasion to relate. 

Minos met his death at Agrigentum, in Sicily, whither he 

242 HEROES. 

had pursued Daedalos, who had escaped from the labyrinth, 
into whicli he and his son Ikaros had been thrown for making 
a figure of a cow for Pasiphae, so lifelike as to be mistaken by 
the herd. He had escaped by means of wings which he had 
made for himself and his son. The latter fell into the sea, and 
was drowned, while his father, reaching Sicily in safety, wa;i 
received under the protection of King Kokalos, whose daughter 
killed Minos by pouring boiling water on his head while he was 
in a bath. Minos was buried there, and had a tomb erected 
m his memory. 

On the coins of the town of Ph?estos is the figure of a youth, 
winged and nude, rushing with great strides, and holding what 
appears to be a stone in each hand. This figure has been 
identified with the legends of Talos, who is described as 
having been made of bronze, a remnant of the bronze age, or, 
as others said, a living work of art produced by Hephsestos. 
He had been placed in Crete by Zeus, to watch over Europa, 
his duty being to run round the island three times a day, and 
see who landed on the coast. When the Argonauts arrived, 
he opposed their landing, but unsuccessfully ; for it happened 
that they were aware of the fact that, though apparently alto- 
gether made of bronze, he still had a vein reaching from neck 
to heel, and containing his life-blood. This vein Poeas, the 
father of Philoktetes, managed to hit with an arrow from the 
famous bow of Herakles. Talos fell, and died. Others said 
that Medea, who accompanied the Argonauts, overcame him 
by witchcraft. It had been the practice of Talos, when he 
caught any one landing on the coast, to seize his victim in his 
arms, to leap with him into a fire, and press him to his burning 
bosom, the while laughing at the pain. This was the origin 
of the phrase "Sardonic laughter." 



Though the appointment of Rhadamanthys as a judge in 
the lower world was said to have been due to the sense of jus- 
tice wliich he had displayed on earth, the region or ccTuntry 
that benefited by his decisions is not given. It may be right 
to assume that he acted with his brother Minos in Crete. 
Sarpedon, the third of the brothers, passed over to Lycia, 
and there became the founder of an illustrious line of heroes. 


With Pelops commences a lineage of heroes famous in 
Elis and Argos for their deeds of violence, and for the retribu- 
tion that awaited them. How Niobe, the sister of Pelops, was 
punished for her pride, we have already seen. What his father, 
Tantalos, had to endure in Tartaros has also been described. 
Tantalos had ruled his kingdom of Phrygia, in Asia Minor, 
well, and on that account ga.ined the esteem of the gods, who 
invited him to a banquet. But he betrayed their secrets, and, to 
crown all, invited them to a feast, at which, to test their power 
of knowing all things that happened, he set before them the flesh 
of his own son Pelops. The gods, perceiving the outrageous 
attempt, restored the child to life, giving him in place of the 
shoulder that had been eaten, whether by Demeter or Thetis, 
a shoulder of ivory. His father was despatched to Tartaros. 

When Pelops had grown to manhood under the care of the 
gods — especially of Poseidon, from whom he learned his skill 
in managing horses — he resolved to win Hippodameia, the 
daughter of the king of Elis, CEnomaos, a son of Ares, and 
the owner of horses swift as the wind. The story was that 
CEnomaos had been informed by an oracle that his death 
would be caused by the husband of his daughter. Trusting to 

244 HEROES. 

the extraordinary speed of his horses, he freely offered his 
daughter's hand to any suitor who should outstrip him in a 
chariot race. Those who failed, it was stipulated in the 
challenge, should perish at his hands. This fate had befallen 
many an ardent suitor previous to the arrival of Pelops, who, 
with a golden chariot and winged horses, given him by 
Poseidon, won the race. It is said, however, that his success 
was rather due to Hippodameia, who had conceived a great 
love for the youth, and gave practical effect to her passion by 
bribing her father's charioteer, Myrtilos, to take a spoke t>ut 
of his master's wheel. 

With the hand of Hippodameia, Pelops obtained the throne 
of Elis, and had, among other children, two sons, named 
Atreus and Thyestes. He established, or at least greatly 
promoted, the Olympian games. His grave, the house of 
Q^nomaos, and other monuments of his excellent rule, were 
afterwards gratefully pointed to at Olympia. 

Atreus and Thyestes, having slain the beautiful young 
Chrysippos, a son of Pelops and a nymph, were compelled to 
leave Elis. They found refuge in Mykenae, establishing them- 
selves in the old fort of Midea, until the death of Eurystheus, 
when Atreus obtained the government of Mykenae, the ruins 
of which still attest the power of its ancient kings. Atreus 
married a daughter of Minos — ^rope — who allowed herself 
to listen to proposals from Thyestes, and assisted him to carry 
off the ram with the golden fleece, the possession of which was 
supposed to secure the government of the country. But Zeus 
interfered in the cause of Atreus, the elder of the brothers, 
and, as a sign of his will, caused the sun to rise in the west. 
Thyestes returned to his brother's house, asking to be forgiven, 
and was received with an appearance of good-will. Instead 


of being forgiven, however, he was presented, on sitting down 
to eat, with the flesh of his own son. Thyestes fled in horror, 
and thereupon famine stalked over the land. On consulting an 
oracle with regard to the famine, Atreus was told to find 
Thyestes, and take him back. He did so, and moreover 
placed him in confinement in Argos, at the same time trying 
to persuade ^gisthos, the son of Thyestes, to kill his father. 
But events took a different course, Thyestes preferring to make 
a victim of Atreus. On the death of Atreus, Agamemnon 
succeeded to the throne of Argos, and his brother Menelaos 
to that of Sparta. Of these two brothers more shall be said 
in connection with the war against Troy. 


(plate XXX.) 

Though regarded sometimes as a god, and honoured in the 
way appointed for immortals, it was chiefly as the hero of a 
long series of arduous labours, difficulties apparently insur- 
mountable, and sufferings, that Herakles obtained the numer- 
ous honours paid to his memory throughout Greece. In the 
gymnasia, where the youth of every town were instructed in 
athletic exercises, the statue of Herakles was pointed to as a 
model of what a perfect athlete should be; while the tales of 
his wrestling with this or that giant were repeated as examples 
of fearlessness and extraordinary strength. Soldiers going to 
battle thought of his fatigues and ultimate triumphs. Labour- 
ers oppressed by toil relieved their sorrows by recalling the 
laborious incidents of his life. Even the Athenians valued the 
rugged, stubborn endurance of Herakles higher than the lithe- 
ness and more perfect form of their own Theseus. So far. 

246 HEROES. 

Herakles was looked upon merely as an example of extraordi- 
nary physical strength and patient toiling to the end ; but in 
later times he also to be held up as an ideal of virtue 
and duty, in which capacity a story invented by the sophist 
Prodikos concerning him, found great applause. That story 
was entitled '' The Choice of Herakles," and represented him 
as being met at a crossway, while yet a youth, by two figures 
— Pleasure and Duty — the one promising him all possible en- 
joyments, the other a life of labour and trouble, if he would 
follow her. He chose to follow Duty. 

According to the genealogy, Herakles was a son of Zeus 
and Alkmene, the wife of Amphitryon, a descendant of 
Perseus, and resident in Thebes. On the day on which he 
was to have been born, Hera, to whose persecution all the 
labours and sufferings of Herakles in after life were due, ob- 
tained from Zeus, in presence of the assembled gods, a vow 
that the boy to be born on that day should have power and 
dominion over all that dwelt about him. Hastening to Argos, 
she lent a helping hand to the wife of Sthenelos, and enabled 
her to give birth to Eurystheus, a weakly seven-months' child. 
Meantime she had delayed the birth of Herakles, who, in 
consequence, became the subject of Eurystheus. With all 
this hostility on the part of Hera, it is curious to compare a 
scene which not unfrequently occurs on ancient painted vases, 
representing Hera sucking the infant Herakles. The story 
was that Hermes, at the command of Zeus, had carried the 
newly-born child to Olympos, and put it to Hera's breast, 
without her knowing whose child it was. From this divine 
milk Herakles drew his godlike strength, the first promise of 
which was given soon after his birth, by his strangling the 
serpent sent by Hera to kill him. 


His youth was spent under the instruction of the most cele- 
brated heroes of the day, the wise Rhadamanthys teaching 
him to be wise and virtuous, and Linos the practice of music. 
Unluckily, Linos had to punish him for some neglect, and in 
doing so enraged the boy so much, that he turned and slew his 
master. For this Amphitryon carried his son away to the 
hills, and left him under the care of herdsmen, with whom, 
like Romulus, or Amphion and Zethos, he enjoyed a wild life 
of hunting and exposure to climate, his limbs growing to enor- 
mous size, and his eyes sparkling with unusual fire. At the 
age of eighteen he slew an enormous lion that infested Mount 
Kithaeron, destroying the flocks of his father, Amphitryon, and 
of Thespios, the king of Thespiae. Returning to Thebes from 
the lion-hunt, and wearing its skin hanging from his shoulders 
as a sign of his success, he met the heralds of the king of the 
Minyae, coming from Orchomenos to claim the annual tribute 
of a hundred cattle levied on Thebes. Herakles cut off the 
ears and noses of the heralds, bound their hands, and sent 
them home. A war followed, in which Amphitryon and his 
two sons, Herakles and Iphikles, did wonders on the part of 
Thebes, and were duly honoured for the same. 

But the part taken by Herakles in that war was the last act 
of his own free will ; for Hera, annoyed at the fast-rising fame 
of the young hero, persuaded Eurystheus to exercise the au- 
thority given him at his birth by Zeus, and to call on Hera- 
kles to enter his service. Herakles inquired at the Delphic 
oracle whether it was possible to escape the summons, but was 
told in reply that he must carry out successfully twelve tasks 
to be imposed on him by Eurystheus, and that, having done 
so, he would be reckoned among the number of immor- 
tals. With this answer in his mind, he presented himself to 

248 HEROES. 

Eurystheus at Mykenae, and commenced the serious labour 
of life. 

The Twelve Labours of Herakles. 

It may be, as has been often suggested, that the legend of 
the labours of Herakles, like those of Perseus in the service of 
Polydektes, or of Bellerophon in that of the Lycian king, or 
of Siegfried in that of the king of Burguady, was intended to 
convey an illustration of the course and operations of the^n. 
His first labours are performed near home, the distance from 
which increases with each new labour that is imposed, till at 
last, after carrying off the golden apples of the Hesperides in 
the remote west, he descends to the lower world, and brings 
back with him the hated dog Cerberus. In later times the 
twelve labours were openly brought into connection with the 
twelve signs of the zodiac. It is, however, more likely that, 
originally, this number had no more signification than in the 
case of the twelve higher deities of Olympos, that it was 
adopted by the poets, such as Pisander and Stesichoros, who 
first made these labours their theme, and that through their 
influence it became stereotyped both in poetry and art. In 
Homer, though the labours are known, there is no mention 
of their number. In the Iliad (v. 395) Herakles is the hero 
whose unerring arrows wounded Hera and Hades. In the 
Odyssey (viii. 224) Herakles and Eurytos are described as 
the most celebrated marksmen of bygone times; and in early 
works of art, it is his character as a bowman that is principally 
represented. But after the time of Pisander and Stesichoros, 
a change is introduced. The club becomes his favourite wea- 
I)on ; and instead of a linen garment wrapped round his loins. 


he now appears either carrying the skin of the Nemean lion 
over his arm, or wearing it hanging down his back — the skin 
of its head fitting to liis crown like a cap, and the fore-legs 
knotted under his chin. 

1. The Nemcaii lion, the offspring of Typhon and Echidna, 
had been sent by Hera to devastate the neighbourhood of 
Nemea, and had succeeded, to the horror of the natives. What 
made the matter worse, was that the plain of Nemea was sacred 
to Zeus. The lion was known to be invulnerable, — proof even 
against the arrows of Herakles. It was therefore necessary to 
adopt novel means for its destruction. Herakles entered the 
cave where its lair was, closed the entrance behind him, and at 
once grappling the monster in his arms strangled it. The skin 
he tore off with his fingers, and, knowing it to be impenetrable, 
resolved to wear it henceforth in his own defence. To the 
legend as it thus stands was added, by the Alexandrian and 
Roman poets, the story of Molorchos, a native of the district, 
on whom Herakles called on his way to the cave, and who, 
when about to kill his only goat to make a feast for his guest, 
was told by the hero to desist and to wait his return. It 
was arranged that should he not return within thirty days 
Molorchos was to sacrifice to him as to a dead person. The 
thirty days had just elapsed when Herakles returned and found 
his friend in the act of preparing the sacrifice. It is possible 
that the thirty days may refer to the period of greatest heat 
in summer, when the lion and dog are ascendant. 

2. The Lerii can hydra, tA^o the offspring of Typhon and 
Echidna, and sent by Hera. Herakles killed it with his sword, 
being assisted in the enterprise by lolaos and Athene. The 
legend is given more fully by Apollodonis, whose version, 
though late, is proved to have been founded on an earlier form 



of it by the remains of poetry and art of high antiquity. The 
hydra-sNdjf> a monster with nine heads, of which eight were mor- 
tal and the ninth invulneral)le. It lived in the marshy ground 
beside the fountain of Amymone, and even the smell which 
spread from its poison was fatal to any one who passed near it. 
Herakles arrived at the spot in a chariot, attended by lolaos, 
and succeeded in driving the hydra from its hole by firing his 
arrows in upon it. The fight began, and Herakles found that 
for every head of it which he cut two fresh heads started up, 
and to increase the difficulty a huge crab came and seized him 
by the heel. It was necessary to try another form of attack. 
Herakles ordered lolaos to set the neighbouring wood on fire 
and to fetch him a brand from it ; with the brand so obtained 
he proceeded, the moment he had cut off a head, to burn it 
up, and in this way destroying them one by one, he at last 
came to the invulnerable head, cut it off also, and buried it 
under a huge rock. He dipped his arrows in the poison of the 
hydra. When his success was reported to Eurystheus, the lat- 
ter refused to reckon it as one of the labours, on the ground 
that lolaos had rendered assistance. The interpretation of the 
legend is that the hydra or v/ater-snake is a symbol of the 
horrors of a marshy district, and that its poison, with its fatal 
smell, represents the miasma which arises from such districts. 
3. TJie Erymanthian boar^ like the Keryneian stag and the 
Stymphalian Birds, carries us to a mountainous and wild rustic 
scene. Its haunt was on Mount Erymanthos, in the north of 
Arcadia. But the name of Erymanthos was also applied to a 
stream which flowed down the mountain side; and it is not 
improbable that the wild boar was only a legendary illustration 
of the ravages produced m winter and early spring by the 
descent of this river with swollen torrents. The orders of 



Eurystheus were that the boar should be brought back alive 
to Mykenx; but at the sight of Herakles returning with it 
alive on his shoulders, fear took possession of the king, and 
he hid himself in a large bronze vessel, into which Herakles, 
as freiiuently represented on ancient vascjs, proceeded to put 
the boar, a.s the safest possible place. The consternation of 
Eurystheus may be imagined. In connection with the cap- 
ture of the boar is told the story of a visit which Herakles 
paid on his way to the Centaur, Pholos, who lived in a cave 
on Mount Pholoe. The hero was hungry, and Pholos gave 
him to eat. He was also thirsty, and required some wine. 
Now Pholos had at hand a large vase full of choice wine, but 
it was the common property of the Centaurs who lived in 
other ])arts of the mountain. On the other hand the wine 
had been a present from Dionysos, and had been accompanied 
with the command that it should not be opened till his good 
friend Herakles arrived. Pholos accordingly had no hesita- 
tion in tapping the vase, and both drank freely from it. The 
strong aroma of the wine, however, reached the nostrils of the 
other Centaurs, who now flocked towards the cave of Pholos 
in wild confusion, armed with pine branches, rocks, axes, and 
torches, and fell upon Herakles. A violent fight ensued, in 
which Herakles, besides with superior numbers, had also to 
contend with the disadvantages of a flood of water sent by the 
clouds, who were the mothers of the Centaurs. Ultimately he 
succeeded in wounding many, and dispersing the others into 
the woods, — the only melancholy part of the issue being that 
his friend Pholos lost his life, under circumstances which re- 
mind us of the death of that other kindly Centaur, Chiron, 
who lived on Mount Pelion, and brought up Achilles. Pholos 
was stooping over a Centaur who had fallen by an arrow from 

252 HEROES. 

Herakles, and after drawing out the arrow, was wondering 
how so small a thing could produce such an effect, when it 
fell from his hands, and striking severely on his foot, its poison 
entered his body and he died. The legend appears to have 
been popular both with poets and vase painters. 

4. The Keryfieian stagy an animal of wonderful fleetness, 
with antlers of gold and hoofs of brass, was sacred to Artemis, 
to whom it had been dedicated by Taygete, one of the 
Pleiads. It took its name from the hill and hunting district 
of Keryneia, on the borders of Arcadia and Achaia; at other 
times it w^as called the Maenalian stag. The task imposed on 
Herakles was to capture and bring it back alive. The chase 
lasted for a whole year, Herakles pursuing it over hills^and 
plains, ravines and meadows, on to the Hyperborean region, 
and thence back to where it had started among the Arcadian 
hills. It sought shelter in the sanctuary of Artemis, but being 
dislodged was overtaken by Herakles at the banks of the river 
Ladon. He would have slain it had not Apollo and Artemis 
appeared on the scene. The stag running a whole year on to the 
regions of the Hyperboreans, and thence returning to where 
it had set out, appears to be a mythical illustration of the 
course of the moon, and may be compared with the much 
simpler story of the huntress Arge — the "■ shimmering being" 
who pursued a stag, crying out, " I will catch you should 
your speed equal that of Helios;" for which boast the angry 
god transformed her into a deer. 

5. The Stamphalian birds. The vale of Stamphalos, lying 
among the mountains in such a way as to be constantly ex- 
posed to the floods and storms of winter, was described in a 
mythical form as being subject to the ravages of a numberless 
flock of birds, which, with their iron talons and feathers sharp 


as arrows, delighted in human flesh. From the description 
of the figures of some of them, which were i)reserved in the 
sanctuary of Artemis, it appears that they resembled in form 
the Harpys, and like them, too, they were, there is every 
reason to believe, symbols of the cold, destructive storms of 
winter. To get rid of them, Herakles first raised an alarm by 
ringing a large bell ; and when the birds came out from the 
thick wood where their nests were, many were shot down by 
his arrows, and the rest flew away in fright. They flew, as it 
appears from the story of the Argonauts, to an island, sacred 
to Ares, in the inhospitable Black Sea, where the Argonauts 
suffered severely from the heavy falls of their sharp biting 
feathers, and only obtained relief by again frightening them 
by raising a great din. As the birds flew over the sea their 
feathers fell like a thick snow-storm, the flakes of which, it 
should be remembered, are frequently in the legends of other 
peoples compared with feathers. Herakles, as a hero repre- 
senting the influence of the sun, was very properly called in 
by the myth-makers to destroy beings of this kind, more 
especially as in the neighbouring district of Pheneos he had 
long been regarded as a beneficent hero. The statement of 
his having alarmed the birds by ringing a bell may have been 
suggested by a common practice of raising birds from their 
nests. At the same time it may also refer to a custom which 
is known at any rate in more recent times — that of ringing 
bells during severe storms, from a belief that such a proceed- 
ing availed against all evil spirits of the air. 

6. The Augcian stables. Augeias, the rich prince of Elis, 
and his daughter Agamede, the sorceress who knew the potency 
of all the herbs in the world, were known to the author of the 
Iliad (xi. 701, 739). His seat was at Ephyro, a name which 

254 HEROES. 

occurs in connection with the worship of the heavenly powers, 
while Augeias itself means '' a being of streaming light." Light 
streamed from his eyes, and it was said expressly that he was a 
son of Helios. His daughter Agamede is obviously identical 
in character with Dirke, Medea, and Megamede, all of whom 
represented by their witchcraft the occult powers of the moon. 
Another feature of the story, which confirms the opinion that 
Augeias in some way was intended to illustrate the phenomena 
of the sun's light, is his possession of herds of lambs and 
cattle, fabulous in numbers as are the fleecy clouds, and-TTi- 
cluding twelve bulls, white as swans, and sacred to Helios — 
one of them being called Phaethon, and described as glittering 
like a star. The court of Augeias was by the banks of the 
river Menios, and the task assigned to Herakles was to clear 
out his endless line of stalls alone and in one day. To ac- 
complish this, the hero made an opening through the wall at 
a part where the river approached it. The stream, rushing 
in at the opening, swept with it, as it flowed along the stables, 
their accumulated dung. Augeias had promised to reward 
Herakles with a tenth of his herds ; but declined to fulfil his 
agreement on hearing that the task had been imposed by 
Eurystheus. This refusal afterwards led to a war between 
Herakles and Elis. 

7. The Creta?i hull had been presented by Poseidon to 
Minos, and by him placed among the herd of cattle sacred to 
the sun. How it became wild, and how Pasiplmc, the wife of 
Minos, conceiving a passion for it, followed it over the island, 
has been told in connection with the legends of Crete. The 
task imposed on Herakles was to bring this bull to Mykense. 
The first difficulty was to capture and subdue it, an act in 
which he is frequently represented on the painted vases. The 


second was to bring it over the sea to Mykena:, which he did 

by sitting on its back wliilc it swam, as did Europa with Zeus, 
in the shape of a bull. As to the fate of the bull, it is said 
that Eurystheus sacrificed it to Hera, and, again, that it 
escaped, roved wildly over the Peloponnesus, and was finally 
captured at Marathon by Theseus. 

8. The horses of Diotnedes, a kirig of Thrace, and reputed 
to have been a son of Ares, the god of war and the personifi- 
cation of storm. Like the people whom he ruled, Diomedes 
was fierce in war. His seat was in the neighbourhood of 
Abdera, where in later times the remains of his citadel was 
pointed out. He was the owner of certain horses which fed 
on human flesh, and by that means became furious and so 
l)owerfiil that they had to be fastened with iron chains. The 
human flesh on which they fed was generally that of persons 
who had been wrecked on that inhospitable coast. Herakles 
was ordered to bring these horses to Mykenae. To Abdera 
he went by sea; and on arriving overpowered the guards, and 
led the horses away to the shore, when he was overtaken by a 
crowd of the subjects of Diomedes. A terrible fight ensued, 
in which the king fell at the hands of Herakles, and was him- 
self given as food for his horses. In the course of the combat, 
Abderos, a beautiful youth, of whom Herakles was very fond, 
fell : and in his honour the hero raised a mound, and insti- 
tuted games in his honour, which the people of Abdera after- 
wards continued annually. After the horses had been conveyed 
to Mykenae and presented to Eurystheus, it is said that they 
escaped among the hills of Arcadia, and were there ultimately 
devoured by wild beasts — probably by the wolves of Zeus 
Lykaios. Their allegorical signification is clearly that of 
storms and billows, and hence the legend was located in 


Thrace, a country with which we are familiar in connection 
with other personifications of storm — such as Ares, Lykurgos, 
and Boreas, 

9. The girdle of Hippolyte, the queen of the Amazons, had 
been a gift from Ares, and was a symbol of the power of a 
rushing headlong storm. The task imposed on Herakles was 
to fetch this girdle for Admete, the daughter of Eurystheus, 
of whom we learn elsewhere that she was a priestess of the 
Argive Hera. Herakles slew the Amazon, and returned with 
the girdle. From this adventure appears to have arisen the 
legend of a war conducted by Herakles against the Amazons. 

10. The cattle of Gcryon or Geryoneus, who was a son of 
Chrysaor and the Okeanide nymph Kallirrhoe. In one person 
he had three bodies, three heads, three pairs of legs, and six 
arms. He was gigantic in size, heavily armed, powerful, and 
provided with wings. The great point of his character was 
that he was the lord of immense herds of cattle. Considering 
that the possession of herds of cattle was also a prominent 
feature in the character of Apollo and Helios, in whose case 
the cattle represented the days of the year, and considering 
further that the local habitation of Geryon, though assigned to 
various localities, is always assigned to a place in some way 
connected with the worship of Helios, it may be inferred that 
Geryon also was an illustration of some of the phenomena of 
the sky; and of these phenomena none but those of wintry 
storms correspond with his personal appearance and vehemence. 
Geryon keeps his cattle at night in a dark cave in the remote 
west, into which Herakles penetrates, and drives them away 
eastward towards the region of morning light. The expedition 
had three stages: first, the journey to F>ythcia, where Geryon 
lived, and which, judged by the meaning of its name, seems 


to be connected with the red glow of sunset ; secondly, the 
contest with Gcryon ; and, thirdly, the r9turn to Mykense with 
the cattle. Erytheia was an island somewhere in the remote 
west, beyond the pillars of Herakles; and to reach it the hero 
employed a vessel, obtained, some said, from Nereus, while 
others believed that he had compelled Helios to lend him for 
the occasion the cup or vessel in which he was accustomed to 
sail every night round the world from west to east. On the 
passage Herakles was alarmed, or at any rate disturbed, by a 
storm, which was only appeased by his drawing his bow on 
Okeanos. Reaching the island, he placed himself on Mount 
Abas, but was observed by the two-headed dog of Geryon, and 
attacked by it. He slew the dog, and was next attacked by the 
herdsman Eurytion, who also fell at his hands. Then Meno- 
itios, who was there watching the cattle of Helios, pointed out 
to him, the cattle of Geryon, grazing in a meadow by the river's 
side. He was in the act of driving them away, when Geryon 
himself, in all his strength and fierceness, appeared on the scene. 
The combat was ended by a fatal shaft from Herakles. Ship- 
ping the cattle into the vessel of the sun, and landing them 
safely, Herakles commenced his homeward journey on foot, 
through Iberia, Gaul, over the Alps, and down through Italy, 
with many adventures, in all of which he was successful. At 
Rome occurred the incident with the robber Cacous, which the 
Romans incorporated among their national legends, though 
the elements of it were obviously of a Greek origin. At the 
Phlegr?ean fields, near Cumae, he fought the Giants. On the 
mountains between Rhegium and Locri, his rest was disturbed 
by the noise of the grasshoppers, and at his prayer the gods 
removed these creatures from the district for ever. From the 
south of Italy one of his bulls escaped across the sea to Sicily, 


and as it was necessary to follow it, Herakles, holding on by 
the horns of another bull, crossed with his herd to that island, 
through the length and breadth of which he appears to have 
wandered, encountering giants like Eryx, experiencing kind- 
ness from the nymphs of Himera and Egesta, at whose warm 
springs he was refreshed, and everywhere leaving reminiscences 
of his visit. Thence he passed up the shores of the Adriatic, 
round by Illyria and Epirus to Ambracia, where a gadfly, sent 
by Hera, caused his cattle to run away in great numbers to the 
mountains. With the remainder he reached the Hellespont, 
and thence proceeded to Mykense, where Eurystheus sacrified 
them to the goddess Hera. 

II. The apples of the Hesperides. According to later story, 
the last labour imposed on Herakles was to procure three of 
the golden apples which grew in the garden of the Hesperides ; 
and hence in works of art which represent him as invichcs, the 
invincible, he appears holding the apples in his hand. As in 
the case of the cattle of Geryon, here also the chief interest of 
the legend resides in the adventures on the way. As regards 
the locality where this wonderful garden was to be found, there 
was a difference of opinion ; some, apparently under the in- 
fluence of Phoenician traditions, believing it to have been in 
the remote west, while ^schylos and others conceived that 
Atlas and the Hesperides lived in the northern region of the 
Hyperboreans. From the combination of both beliefs in later 
times, a very wide scope was given to the adventures of the 
hero on his way there and back. Herakles himself, not know- 
ing what direction to take, is said to have first passed through 
Macedonia and on to the Rhone, where he met certain nymphs 
who advised him that Nereus, the sea-god, knew the secret, 
and could be made to give it up. In spite of the many trans- 


formations of Ncreus, Hcrakles compeHed him to tell him the 
■way. He then i)rocce(k'(l to Libya, where he found Anta^os, 
a giant of enormous strength, whose habit was to kill all trav- 
ellers who crossed the waste where he lived. He was a son of 
Poseidon and the Earth, deriving from his mother a strength 
which rendered him invincible to those who could not lift him 
from the ground, which Herakles did. The wrestling scene 
between the two was a favourite subject in ancient art, and 
commended itself largely to the Greek youths as they practised 
in the palaistra. When he had conquered Antaeos, Herakles 
lay down to rest, and in a little while found himself covered 
with a host of creatures called Pygmies, who sprang up from 
the waste. He wrapped them in his lion's skin and killed them. 
From Lil:)ya he went into Egypt, where he was seized by the 
orders of Busiris and conveyed, as were all strangers, to be 
sacrificed. He burst his bonds, and offered up instead Busiris, 
his son, and retinue. From Egypt he went to India, and 
thence returned in a northerly direction towards the Caucasus 
mountains, where he set free Prometheus, and in return for 
that kindly act was told the way on through Scythia to the 
region of the Hyperboreans, where lived Atlas and the Hes- 
perides. Part of the arrangement was that Atlas should pluck 
the three apples for him; and to relieve him for that purpose 
it was necessary that Herakles should take the burden of the 
world on his shoulders. Atlas returned with the apples, and 
naively proposed that he himself should convey them to Eurys- 
theus. Herakles appeared to appreciate the proposal, and only 
wished first to find a pad to save his head from the weight. 
Atlas did not see the joke, and willingly took the world on his 
shoulders again. Herakles, of course, did not return. An- 
other report has it that Herakles himself entered the garden, 

26o HEROES. 

slew the dragon which watched the tree, and carried off the 
apples and returned with them to Eurystheus. 

12. Ce7'berus, the three-headed dog of Hades, which guarded 
the entrance to the lower world, was a symbol of the eternal 
darkness of Hades. The task of bringing it to the upper 
world was regarded in the earlier epic poetry as the most 
difficult of the labours of Herakles. It was supposed that he 
entered from the upper world through a chasm near Taenarum, 
returning by the same way. The shades of the dead fled in 
terror when they beheld him. Near the gates he found his 
friends Theseus and Peirithoos seated on a rock, to which 
they were attached as if they had grown from it, and in great 
trouble. He freed Theseus, but the earth shook when he tried 
to do the same for Peirithoos. To impart life to the shades 
of his friends whom he freed, he obtained blood from one of 
the cows of Hades, which he killed after a severe fight with 
Menoites, the herdsman. At last he reached Pluto, who 
agreed that he might take Cerberus provided he could do so 
without the assistance of arms of any kind. This he succeeded 
in doing, and leading the hated dog to Eurystheus, completed 
his twelve labours. 

The labours of Herakles were a favourite subject with the 
ancient vase-painters and sculptors, and of the latter especially 
those of later times who worked for Roman patrons, in whose 
estimation the Greek hero stood high. The manner in which 
each of the labours was represented, seldom varied; and from 
this it may be assumed that the type of each had originally 
been established by Greek artists of celebrity, from whose 
models it would have been presumption to depart. As an 
instance of how these labours were represented collectively, 
we would cite a marble sarcophagus in the British Museum, 


dating probably from the third century a. d. Without caring 
to follow the chronological order usually accepted, the sculp- 
tor has chosen to dispose his groups according to his ideas of 
artistic effect, or perhaps according to his ideas of their im- 
portance. On the extreme left of the front we find Herakles 
dragging Cerberus out of Hades, the mouth of which is repre- 
sented as the rocky entrance to a cave. Among the rocks is 
hiding a nude diminutive figure, which may be taken to be one 
of the shades of the dead, who, as it was said, fled in terror 
when they beheld the hero. Next to this is a group of Hera- 
kles removing the girdle of the Amazon Hippolyte, who lies 
dead at his feet. Then we have the scene in the garden of 
the Hesperides, then the taming of the horses of Diomedes, 
and lastly, the strangling of the Nemean lion. On one end 
of the sarcophagus he appears slaying the Lernean hydra, and 
on the other capturing the Kcryneian stag. In these last 
three groups he is figured represented as beardless and of a 
youthful figure, while in the others his form has become colos- 
sal, and his features marked with toil. On the lid are sculp- 
tured on a smaller scale, the five remaining labours, of which 
the first, beginning from the left hand, is the bringing of the 
Erymanthian boar; next to that we find Herakles hard at 
work with a pickaxe, making an opening, as it seems, into the 
wall of the Augeian stables ; the third scene represents him 
shooting the Stymphalian birds; in the fourth he is engaged 
in subduing the Cretan bull ; and in the fifth he fights with 
the triple-bodied giant, Geryon. These five labours are shut 
in on the left by the scene where Herakles, as an infant, 
strangles the snake sent by Hera, and on the right by a group 
representing him seated after his labours, and receiving a cup 
of wine from the goddess Victory, while Athene stands by. 

262 HEROES. 

Herakles as a National Hero. 

In addition to the twelve labours imposed by Eurystheus, 
and apparently after the expiry of his servitude to that mon- 
arch, Herakles performed many other wonderful feats, which 
caused his name to be surrounded with glory. Of these it 
has already been mentioned that he wrestled with and van- 
quished the Giant Antaeos, who lived in Cyrene, on the 
north coast of Africa, and slew all who came in his way, and 
that in Egypt he slew Busiris, whose practice had been to 
sacrifice all strangers that entered his dominions. Next we 
find him among the Caucasus mountains, where, having shot 
the bird that gnawed the liver of Prometheus, he set the 
Titan free. He saved Alkestis, the wife of Admetos, king 
of Pherse, under the following circumstances : Admetos, being 
sick, had caused an inquiry to be made of an oracle as to the 
issue of his illness, and was told in rei)ly that he would die 
unless some one could be found to volunteer to lay down his 
life for him. For this his wife, Alkestis, offered herself, and 
would have been carried off to the shades, but for Herakles, 
who seized the god of death in his strong arms, and held him 
till he promised to allow her to remain with her husband. 

He accompanied the expedition of the Argonauts in search 
of the golden fleece, and took part in the first war against 
Troy, along with Telamon, the father of Ajax, Peleus, the 
father of Achilles, and Oikles, the father of Amphiaraos. 
The cause of this war was a breach of faith on the part of 
Laomedon, the king of Troy, who, in consideration of 
Herakles having rescued his daughter Hesione from the 
jaws of a sea-monster, had promised her hand to Herakles. 


Laomedon was besieged in his citadel, finally was taken prison- 
er, and slain along with his sons — all except Podarkes, 
whose life was sj)ared on the entreaty of Hesione. Tckunon 
was rewarded with the hand of Hesione. Podarkes assumed 
the name of Priamos, and, after the withdrawal of Herakles 
and his expedition, established a new dynasty in Troy. On 
the way home Herakles and his companions were compelled 
to take shelter from a storm at Kos, but were refused hospi- 
tality by the inhabitants. For this they destroyed the town. 

In an expedition against Pylos, Herakles succeeded, with 
the assistance of Athene, in overcoming Periklymenos, a 
strange being, who had the power of assuming any form he 
pleased. He next proceeded to Laced nemon, to assist his 
friend Tyndareus, the rightful ruler of that state, against the 
family of Hippokoontides, by whom he had been expelled, 
— this undertaking being also crowned with success, though it 
entailed the loss, among others of his companions, of the sons 
of Kepheus, king of Tegea. Tyndareus was reinstated. 

Whether it was on the conclusion of the labours imposed on 
him by Eurystheus, or at some other period of his life, Hera- 
kles is said to have once returned to Thebes, exhausted by toil, 
and to have fallen into violent illness, followed by raving, in 
the course of which he committed many unfortunate acts, 
among others attempting to carry off the sacred tripod from 
the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi. Being afterwards informed 
by the oracle of Apollo that the crimes he had committed 
through his insanity could be expiated by a period of three 
years' servitude, he offered his services to Omphale, queen 
of Lydia, and there, as elsewhere, distinguished himself chiefly 
for the assistance he rendered to the oppressed, and for the 
valour of his deeds. 

264 HEROES. 

The Death and Deification of Herakles. 

Herakles, it would seem, had wooed lole, a daughter of 
Eurytos, king of CEchalia, but had been ultimately refused her 
hand, in spite of his having fulfilled all the conditions laid 
down by her father. Turning elsewhere, he became a suitor 
of Deianeira, a daughter of CEneus, king of Kalydon, who 
offered his daughter in marriage to the man who should van- 
quish the river-god Acheloos in wrestling. Having proved 
himself more than a match for the river-god, Herakles obtained 
Deianeira in marriage, and next proceeded to punish the father 
of lole for his deceit. Having taken the stronghold of (Echalia, 
he put the king and his children to death, with the exception 
of lole, whom he carried off; but instead of returning home 
directly, proceeded with her to a promontory in Euboea, in- 
tending to offer a sacrifice to Zeus. Deianeira, hearing of 
this, and being jealous of a revival of her husband's former 
love for lole, took the white robe in which he had been accus- 
tomed to offer sacrifices, steeped it in some preparation given 
her by the Centaur Nessos, as a charm to bring back her 
husband's love, and sent it by her son Lichas to Herakles. 
She was not aware that the preparation contained the deadliest 
poison. Herakles had hardly put on the robe, when he was 
seized with violent pain — the poison entering into his frame. 
Death appeared to be inevitable. He caused a pyre of wood 
to be erected on Mount CEta, set fire to it, and after handing 
over his unerring bow and arrows to his friend Philoktetes, 
mounted the pyre, and was consumed in its flames. His spirit, 
it was said, passed away in a cloud, and was conducted by 
Iris and Hermes to Olympos, where, after being reconciled 


Theseus. as a national hero. 265 

to Hera, he was married to the goddess Hebe, and enjoyed 
immortality and the esteem of all the gods. De'ianeira, mean- 
time having heard of the calamity she had caused, put herself 
to death- 
While ancient poets familiarized the peoi)le with the exploits 
of Herakles, artists found in them an endless variety of sub- 
jects, as the collections of sculptures and painted vases still 
testify. In the schools he was held up as an embodiment of 
heroic virtue, and everywhere honour was done to him. 


(plate xxxiv.) 

The friend, and in many respects the counterpart of Hera- 
kles, was Theseus, a son of .^geus, king of Attica, and 
-^thra, a daughter of Pittheus, king of Troezene. While 
his mother was a descendant of Pelops, his father was of the 
line of ?>echtheus. Theseus, brought up under the care of 
his grandfather, Pittheus, whose wisdom and virtue were well 
known, soon gave promise of great strength and skill in athletic 
exercises, such as were then prescribed for youths, and more- 
over became a proficient in playing the lyre. His father, 
.^geus, on taking leave of his mother, ^thra, at Troezene, 
had secreted his sword and sandals under a great rock, and 
told her that when the boy was able to move the rock, he 
might come to him at Athens, bringing the sword and sandals 
as a token. When only in his sixteenth year, Theseus accom- 
l)lished this task, and at once set out for Athens, where 
Medea, who was then living wi.i ^geus, tried to compass 
his death, but her plan having failed, fled. 

266 HEROES. 

On his way to Athens Theseus was the hero of several 
exploits resembling more or less the feats which Herakles 
performed in his youth„ He slew Periphates, whose practice 
had been to crush with a blow of his iron club all travellers 
across the pathless district between Troezene and Epidauros. 
On the Isthmus of Corinth Theseus met and overcame Sinis, 
the robber, who was the terror of the neighbourhood. It was 
to commemorate this feat, it was said, that Theseus established 
the Isthmian games. At Krommyon he slew the wild boar 
that was laying waste the country round. He threw SKron 
from a high cliff into the sea — a death to which that robber 
had doomed many unlucky travellers. At Eleusis he slew the 
powerful Kerkyon, and afterwards Damastes (usually called 
Prokrustes), whose manner of killing his victims was to 
place them on a bed which was always either too long or too 
short : if too short, he would cut oif part of the victim to suit 
the bed ; if too long, he would stretch his victim to the re- 
quired length. 

Arriving at Athens, Theseus was purified from all this blood- 
shed by the grateful inhabitants. It happened that, because 
of the long Ionian dress which he wore, and his long hair, 
which gave him the appearance of a girl, some scoffed at him 
for going about alone in public. To show that he was far 
from so effeminate as he seemed, he unyoked a laden wagon 
that was standing by, and threw it up in the air, to the aston- 
ishment of all. 

His next exploit was against the family of giants, fifty in 
number, called Pallantides, sons of his uncle Pallas, who 
were endeavouring to get rid of Theseus, in the hope of 
succeeding to the government of Athens at the death of their 
uncle ^geus. His extraordinary strength enabled him to 


overpower them. He then proceeded to Marathon, where, 
as we have already said, in connection with the labours of 
Herakles, a furious bull was destroying the plains. He cap- 
tured and led it off to Athens, where he sacrificed it to the 
goddess Athene, who had lent him her aid in the enterprise. 
(See Plate XXXIV.) 

But the adventure in which he gained the greatest glory was 
his slaying the Minotaur, a monster of which we have given 
a description above in connection with the legends of Crete, 
where we have also explained why Athens was'compelled to 
send a tribute of young men and maidens as victims to the 
Minotaur. Theseus offered himself as a victim, and in time 
arrived with the others in Crete. Before the sacrifice took 
place, however, he had won the favour of Ariadne, the 
daughter of Minos, and had obtained from her a clue of thread, 
by holding on to which he might find his way back out of the 
labyrinth in which the Minotaur lived. The intricacies of its 
passages would have otherwise been a source of danger against 
which his great strength would not have served him. On a 
very ancient vase in the British Museum there is a picture in 
which Ariadne is represented as holding the one end of the 
clue, while Theseus in the interior of the labyrinth is slaying 
the monster. Having by this act freed Athens forever from 
the cruel tribute, Theseus and his companions set out on the 
homeward voyage, accompanied also by Ariadne. But at the 
island of Naxos he abandoned her, fearing to take a stranger 
home as his wife. Her grief on awaking and seeing the ship 
far away that conveyed her lover was intense, and has been 
commemorated frequently both by poets and artists. She 
was found sorrowing by the young wine-god Dionysos, by 
whose influence her joy returned. 


Meanwhile the arrival of the ship was being anxiously 
■looked for at Athens. That the good news might be known 
more quickly, Theseus had promised, when he set out, to 
hoist a white flag when he sighted Attica, if successful. In 
his joy, however, he had forgotten the promise, and sailed 
towards the port with the black colours with which he had 
started. On seeing this, his father, ^geus, gave way to grief 
at the supposed loss of his son, and put an end to his life. 

Among the other adventures in which Theseus took part 
were the expedition of the Argonauts and that of Herakles 
against the Amazons. In the latter expedition he had, it was 
said, carried off Hippolyte, whose girdle Herakles had been 
commanded by Eurystheus to obtain. For the carrying off of 
their queen, a great body of the Amazons invaded Attica, but 
were repulsed by Theseus. 

His warm friendship for the Thessalian prince Peirithoos 
gave Theseus two opportunities of displaying his heroic 
qualities. The first was at the marriage of his friend — at 
which, as has been previously related, the Centaurs present at 
the banquet, becoming fired with wine, raised a tumult, and 
would have carried off the bride, but for the resistance of 
Theseus. The second occasion was when Peirithoos, having 
conceived a passion for Persephone, audaciously resolved to 
carry her away from the lower world, and was aided by The- 
seus. The attempt failed, however, and both were kept in 
chains in the lower world till Plerakles released them. 

After the death of his father, Theseus succeeded to the 
government of Athens, lived in splendour, ruled with prudence, 
and introduced institutions of a most liberal kind among his 
people. He united the various independent and previously 
hostile villages of Attica into one state, with Athens at its 




n ^ ^- M 

The Dioskuri. 


head. He enriched and gave a new impulse to the great 
festival of the Panathenaea, that had been established by 
Erechtheus. In the island of Delos he founded an annual 
festival accompanied by games, at which the prize was a wreath 
of the sacred palm-tree. In Athens the festival of Pyanep- 
sia, in honour of Apollo, and Oschophoria, in honour of 
Dionysos, were both said to have been established ])y him. 
He met his death, it was said, at the hands of Lykomedes, 
to whose court he had retired on the occasion of a tumult in 
Athens. His wife was Phaedra, a daughter of Minos, of 
Crete; according to another report, Antiope. 

The memory of his deeds was preserved by a beautiful 
temple in Athens, erected for that purpose, and called the 


At the head of this expedition was Meleagros, a son of 
CEneus, the king of Kalydon, and his wife Althaea; Deia- 
neira, the wife of Herakles, being a daughter of the same pair. 
At the birth of Meleagros the Parcai appeared to Alth?ea, it 
would seem, Atropos telling her that her infant would live as 
long as a brand which she pointed to on the fire remained un- 
consumed. Althaea snatched it that moment from the flames, 
hid it away carefully, and thus secured the invulnerability of 
her son. On growing to manhood he took part in the Argo- 
nautic expedition, and is said to have signalized himself by 
many acts of bravery; but the enterprise with which his fame 
was most associated was the successful hunt of the ferocious 
boar, that was laying waste the country round Kalydon, defy- 
ing the spears and hounds of ordinary huntsmen. 

270 HEROES. 

Meleagros sent messengers round Greece to invite all its 
bravest heroes to Kalydon to join him in the himt. There 
came Idas and Lynkeus from Messene, Kastor and Poly- 
deukes (Pollux) from Lakedaemon, Theseus from Athens, 
Admetos from Pherae, Ankseos and the beautiful Atalante 
from Arcadia, Jason from lolkos, Peleus from Thessaly, and 
many other well-proved heroes. After enjoying for nine days, 
as was usual, the hospitality of Meleagros, they prepared on 
the tenth for the chase, which, with a few accidents, resulted 
in the death of the boar by the spear of Meleagros, to wliom 
accordingly fell the trophy of the monster's head and skin. 

In Plate XXXIII. he is represented standing beside an altar 
shaded by a laurel-tree, holding two spears in his hand. His 
dog looks up to him. The head of the boar lies on the altar. 

As, however, Atalante had been the first to wound the boar, 
Meleagros made that a pretext for presenting her with its skin. 
But on her way homewards to Arcadia she was met and 
forcibly robbed of it by the brothers of Althaea, the mother of 
Meleagros, who considered that they had a superior claim 
to that part of the booty. A quarrel arose on that account 
between Meleagros and his uncles ; they fought, and the end 
of it was that the uncles were slain. To avenge their death, 
Althaea cast the brand, which up till then she had carefully 
preserved, into the fire, and thereupon her brave son was 
seized with dreadful pain, and died. Grief at the rashness of 
her act caused the mother to kill herself. 


To understand the object of this expedition, it will be 
necessary to go back a little into the genealogy of the person 


at whose instance it was conducted. That person was Jason, 
a son of ^son, the rightful king of lolkos in Thessaly, and 
his wife Alkimede. The father of ^son was ^olos (a son of 
Hellen and a grandson of Deukalion), at whose death he suc- 
ceeded to the throne, but was driven from it by Pelias, his 
step-brother, at whose hands he and all his relatives suffered 
cruel persecution. The boy Jason was saved from harm by 
some of his father's friends, and placed under the care and 
instruction of the Centaur Cheiron, At the age of twenty he 
was told by an oracle to present himself to Pelias, and claim 
his father's kingdom. Pelias also had learned from the oracle 
that a descendant of ^olos would dethrone him, and, more- 
over, that the descendant in question would appear to him 
for the first time with only one sandal to his feet. Pelias, 
the usurper, was therefore anxiously looking out for the ap- 
proach of a person in this plight. It happened that the river 
Enipeus was swollen when Jason reached it, on his way to put 
forth his claim against Pelias. But Hera, the patron goddess 
of lolkos, taking the form of an old woman, conveyed him 
across, with no loss except that of one sandal. On his arrival 
at lolkos, Pelias recognized him as the rightful heir referred 
to by the oracle, but, at the same time, was unwilling to abdi- 
cate in his favour. He would prefer that Jason should first do 
something in the way of heroic enterprise, and, as a suitable 
adventure of that kind, proposed that he should fetch the 
golden fleece from Kolchis. Jason agreed to this, and set 
about building the Argo, the largest ship that had as yet sailed 
from Greece. The goddess Athene aided him with her skill 
and advice in the work, as did also Hera. When the ship 
was ready, Jason sent messengers to invite the foremost heroes 
of Greece to join him in his enterprise. Among the many 



who accepted his invitation were Herakles, Kastor and Polhix, 
Meleagros, Orpheus, Peleus, Neleus, Admetos, Theseus, his 
friend Peirithbos, and the two sons of Boreas, Kalais and 

Turning now to the story of the golden fieece, the finding 
of which was the object of so powerful an expedition, we must 
go back to ^olos, whom we have mentioned above as grand- 
father of Jason and son of Hellen, Tliis ^olos had, besides 
^son, another son, Athamas, who married Nephele, and 
had two children, Phrixos and Helle. On the death of 
his wife, Athamas married a second time Ino, a daughter of 
Kadmos, by whom he had two sons, Learchos and Meli- 
kertes. The second wife disliking her two step-children, 
made several attempts on their lives. To save them from 
further danger, the shade of their mother, it was said, appeared 
to Phrixos, bringing at the same time a large ram v/ith a gold- 
en fleece, on which she proposed Phrixos and Helle should 
escape over the sea. They started according to her advice, 
and Phrixos reached safely the opposite shore, but Helle fell 
from the ram's back into the sea and was drowned. The name 
of Hellespont was in consequence given to the strait which 
they had to cross. Phrixos, having reached the other side, 
proceeded to Kolchis, on the farthest shore of the Black Sea, 
and there sacrificed the ram to Zeus, in honour of his safety. 
He hung the golden fleece up in the temple of Ares. 

Previous to starting from lolkos, Jason offered a sacrifice to 
Zeus, calling upon the god for a sign of his favour, or dis- 
pleasure if it should be so. Zeus answered with thunder and 
lightning, which was taken as a favourable omen. The expe- 
dition proceeded first to l.emnos, where the heroes were kindly 
received, remained a long time, and became the fathers of a 


new race of heroes. The women of the island had, it would 
seem, at the instigation of Aj^lirodite, slain their husbands. 
One of the Lcninian women, Hypsipyle, bore ason to Jason, 
and called him Euneos. Leaving Lemnos and its festive 
life, the Argonauts continued their journey as far as Kyzikos, 
where they landed for a short time, and were in the act of 
leaving, when Herakles, having broken his oar, left the ship, 
accompanied by Hylas, to cut a new oar in the wood. But 
some nymphs, admiring the beauty of young Hylas, carried 
him off; and as Herakles would not leave the country without 
him, the expedition was compelled to proceed without the 
assistance and companionship of the great hero. Their next 
landing was in the neighbourhood of the modern Scutari, 
where the reigning king, Amykos, was famed as a boxer, and 
for his cruelty to all strangers who entered his territories. 
Seeing the Argonauts land for the purpose of obtaining fresh 
water, he sent them, as was his custom, a challenge to match 
him with a boxer, which Pollux accepted, and proved the 
skill by which he earned his fame upon the boastful Amykos. 
Proceeding on their journey, they passed through the perilous 
entrance to the Black Sea in safety, owing their escape from 
its dangers to the advice of Phineus, the blind and aged king 
of the district, whom they had found suffering great distress on 
account of his food being always carried off or polluted by the 
Harpys, just as he sat down to eat it. This punishment, as 
well as his blindness, had been sent upon him by the gods in 
consequence of his cruelty to his wife (a daughter of Boreas) 
and children. The Harpys were driven away effectually by 
the two sons of Boreas, who accompanied the Argonauts ; and 
it was in return for this kindness that Phineus communicated 
his plan for a safe passage through the Symplegades, two 

274 HEROES. 

great cliffs that moved upon their bases, and crushed every- 
thing that ventured to pass between. His plan was first to 
fly a pigeon through between them, and then the moment that 
the cliffs, having closed upon the pigeon, began to retire to 
each side, to row the Argo swiftly through the passage. It 
was done, and before the cliffs could close upon her, the ship, 
all but her rudder, had got clear of danger. From that time 
the Symplegades were united into one rock. 

After many other adventures the expedition at last reached 
Kolchis, where they found .ffietes, a reputed son of Helios 
and Perseis, reigning as king. He refused to give up the 
golden fleece, except to the man who should acquit himself to 
his satisfaction in certain enterprises which he proposed. The 
first was to yoke to a plough his unmanageable bulls, that 
snorted fire and had hoofs of brass, and to plough the field of 
Ares with them. That done, the field was to be sown with a 
dragon's teeth, from which armed men were to spring in the 
furrows. The hero who succeeded so far was then to be per- 
mitted to fetch, if he could, the golden fleece, which hung on 
an oak in a grove sacred to Ares, and was watched continually 
by a monstrous dragon, Medea, the daughter of^etes, 
having conceived a passion for Jason, prepared him for these 
dangerous tasks by means of a witch's mixture which made 
him proof against fire and sword. The goddess Athene also 
helped him, and his success was complete. 

The Argonauts now commenced their homeward voyage, 
Jason taking with him Medea. On missing his daughter, 
y^etes gave pursuit. Seeing that he was overtaking them, 
Medea, to divert his course, dismembered her young brother, 
Absyrtos, whom she had taken with her, and cast the limbs 
about in the sea. The delay caused to ^etes in collecting 

Kxi'F.DriioN or rni: arconauts. 275 

the pieces of his chihl, enabled Medea and Jason to escape. 
According to another rcj)ort, Absyrtos had by that time grown 
to manhood, and met his death in an encounter with Jason, 
in pursuit of whom he had been sent by his father. 

After passing through many other dangers, Jason at last 
reached lolkos, and, presenting the golden fleece to Pelias, 
claimed the throne, as agreed upon. But Pelias still refused 
to abdicate. Jason therefore slew him, and assumed the 
government of lolkos, together with that of Corinth, where 
^etes, the father of Medea, had, it is said, ruled before he 
went to Kokhis. 

Ten years of peace followed the accession of Jason to the 
throne. The origin of the troubles that fell upon the royal 
house thereafter was an attachment formed by Jason for the 
beautiful Kreusa (or Glauke, as others called her), whom 
he made his wife in Corinth. Medea, stung with jealousy, 
turned to the arts of witchcraft she had learned in Kolchis, 
and having steeped a dress and a costly wreath in poison, sent 
them to her rival, and by that means caused her death. Not 
content with that, she set fire to the palace of Kreon, the 
father of Kreusa; and further, finding Jason enraged at what 
she had done, she put to death the children she herself had 
borne to him, and fled to Athens, where, as we have seen, she 
lived for a time with ^geus. Thence also she had to escape, 
in consequence of an attempt on the life of Theseus. She 
went back to Kolchis, some believed, in a chariot drawn by 
winged dragons. 

Jason, it is said, depressed by his troubles, repaired to the 
sanctuary on the Isthmus of Corinth, where the Argo had 
been consecrated in the grove of Poseidon. On approaching 
the ship, part of the stern gave way, fell upon him, and caused 

276 HEROES. 

his death. Another version of the story says that he took his 
own life. 




THE heroes of the succeeding age were regarded as sons 
or grandsons of those whom we have just described, 
the great events of the period in which they lived being the 
two wars against Thebes and Troy. It has already been 
observed that the accounts of these wars, though apparently 
having some foundation in historical facts, are altogether 
mythical in their form, and interwoven with incidents of a 
wholly mythical character. 

These two events, more than any of the other adventures 
of heroes, formed the favourite subjects of the national poetry 
of Greece, the incidents of each having been, as a whole, or 
in part, worked up into a long series of epic poems and tra- 
gedies, of which, with two exceptions, only fragments remain to 
our times. These exceptions are the " Iliad ' ' and ^' Odyssey ' ' 
— the oldest, it is believed, and at the same time the most 
celebrated, of the epic poems upon the subject of the war 
against Troy, the reputed author of them being Homer. The 
principal epic on the expedition of the seven heroes against 
Thebes was entitled the Theba'is, its author being unknown. 
We shall relate both these great events in the connection in 
which they have come down to us. 



Wc have already alluded to the series of grim events by 
whi( h CEdipos, after killing his father, Laios, came to the 
throne of Thebes, and married his own mother, Jokaste. 
It will be remembered that from tliis union si3rang four chil- 
dren, two of them being sons, Eteokles and Polyneikes, 
and two daughters, Antigone, and Ismene ; and that, when 
the criminality of the marriage came to light, Jokaste killed 
herself, while CEdipos, after putting out his eyes, went into 
voluntary exile, accompanied only by his high-souled daughter 
Antigone, who resolved to share all his adversity. 

The sons, remaining in Thebes, soon fell into a warm dis- 
pute concerning the succession to the throne, but at last 
agreed to reign year about, Eteokles, the elder of the two, 
having the first period of office. His year, however, having 
expired, he not only declined to retire in behalf of his brother, 
but went so far as to expel him from the city. 

Polyneikes, brooding revenge, betook himself to Ad- 
rastos, king of Sikyon, and was there hospitably received, 
meeting also under the same roof another pretender to a 
throne, Tydeus of Argos. The two youths became friends, 
and bound themselves to stand by each other in the recovery 
of their sovereignty. Adrastos gave them his two daughters 
in marriage, and having thus allied himself to their cause, 
prepared a powerful army to reinstate, first, Polyneikes in 
Thebes, and next, Tydeus in Argos. 

Mean time both the young men visited many parts of Greece, 
with the view of obtaining companions in arms, and many a 

278 HEROES. 

Stout hero answered to their summons — such, for example, as 
Kapaneus, a son of Hipponoos, of Argos, Eteoklos, son 
of Iphis, and Parthenopseos, a son of Atalanta and 
Melanion (or of Ares), from Arcadia. These three, to- 
gether with Polyneikes, Tydeus, and Adrastos, and lastly the 
princely seer Amphiaraos, the son of O'ikles (or of 
Apollo), constituted the so-called seven heroes against 
Thebes. It was, however, with extreme reluctance that Am- 
phiaraos took part in the expedition ; for he was a man of 
profound piety, and a prophet, who knew that the other 
leaders of the affair had all more or less been guilty of 
criminal acts. He foresaw that the undertaking, altogether 
godless as it was — since Polyneikes, though he had suffered 
injustice, had no right to invade his native town with a 
foreign army — would have a disastrous issue for all of them. 
His warnings, however, were unheeded, and he himself, 
since much was thought to depend on his presence, was 
forced to take part in the adventure through the following 
plot : — 

Amphiaraos and Adrastos, finding themselves greatly at 
variance in opinion concerning the projected expedition, at 
last agreed to intrust the decision of the matter to Eriphyle 
(the wife of Amphiaraos, who was prevailed on by the costly 
presents given her secretly by Polyneikes to decide against her 
husband, though she had been informed by him that Adras- 
tos alone, of all the seven, would ever return from the ex- 
pedition. On stepping into his chariot to depart for battle, 
Amphiaraos turned round, and called down upon his wife 
a curse, which his son, Alkmseon, afterwards fulfilled by 
slaying his mother to avenge his father's death. 

The army was now ready to march under its seven leaders. 


We must, however, before tracing its further adventures, return 
for a moment to Gidipos. After wandering about sad and 
miserable here and there in Greece, he at last, under the 
guidance of his faithful daughter, Antigone, arrived in At- 
tica, where, it had been predicted, he was to find a peaceful 
end to all his woes. Neither of the sons had troubled himself 
about the ill-fated old man, until an oracle announced that 
victory in the approaching battle would be on the side of him 
who brought back CEdipos to Thebes, and had him in his 
camp. Thereupon both sought him out, Polyneikes going in 
person to beg for his blessing on the assault upon their native 
town. Q£dipos cursed the unholy enterprise. Eteokles, as 
the reigning king, despatched his uncle, Kreon, a brother of 
his mother's, to Attica, with commands to bring back CEdipos 
by force if necessary. But when Kreon attempted to do so, 
Theseus interfered, and expelled him and his followers from 
the land. CEdipos, after calling down upon his undutiful 
sons a curse, that they might perish each by the hand of the 
other, died in the sacred grove of the Eumenides at Kolonos, 
near Athens, and was buried by Theseus with pomp and cere- 
mony. Antigone returned in great grief to Thebes. 

About the same time the expedition of the seven set out. 
On reaching Nemea they found all the springs dry — a judg- 
ment sent upon them by Dionysos, it was said, the guardian 
deity of Thebes. Suffering severely from thirst, and looking 
about for water, the heroes encountered Hypsipyle (see 
Argonauts), who, because of Jason's love for her, had been 
sent by the other women of Lcmnos to Nemea, and there sold 
into slavery to the king, Lykurgos, her duty being to tend his 
young child, Opheltes. They begged her to take them to a 
well, which she did ; but before going off w^ith them, had, con- 

28o HEROES. 

trary to the warning of an oracle, laid down the child on the 
ground in the wood. Returning from the well, they found 
the child dead witliin the coils of a snake, Tydeus and 
Kapaneus would have slain the reptile at once, had not Am- 
phiaraos announced it to be a miraculous creature sent by 
Zeus as an evil omen. On this account he re-named the child 
Archemoros ; which means the '^dawn of mystery." The 
heroes appeased the angry parents by performing splendid 
obsequies to the child, the athletic contests and ceremonies 
of that occasion being afterwards looked on as the first cele- 
bration of the Nemean games (see above). Hypsipyle was 
taken back to her home by her son, Euneos, who had gone 
in search of her. 

In spite of this evil omen, the army of the seven advanced 
upon Thebes, and after several less important adventures ar- 
rived before its walls. There they pitched a camp, and as a 
preliminary attempt to settle the matter amicably, sent Tydeus 
into Thebes with orders to require that the government be 
ceded to Polyneikes, according to the original terms of agree- 
ment between the brothers. 

Tydeus was, however, received with hostility, and would 
have perished in the ambush laid for him by Eteoklcs, con- 
trary to the universal usages of war, had it not been for his 
extraordinary strength. Of the fifty men who surrounded 
him, he spared only one to take back to Eteokles the tidings 
of the affair. 

The dispute must now be decided by force of arms. Thebes 
was closely surrounded, each of the seven lieroes taking up 
his position before one of its seven gates. In a similar manner 
Eteokles distributed his forces under seven generals within 
each of the gates, reserving for himself the defence of the gate 


which his brother was to attack. When the battle commenced, 
deeds of extraordinary valour were done on both sides; but the 
gods were against the assailants, the 'lliebans having gained 
the divine good-will in a special degree by the sacrifice which 
Kreon's son, Mencekeus, voluntarily made of himself with 
a view to save his native town, as the oracle announced by the 
scLT Teiresias recommended. When the last and fatal day 
of the siege arrived, Amjjhiaraos warned his companions in 
arms of wliat awaited them, and the death of all their leaders 
except Adnistos. Intrusting to him tokens of remembrance 
for their friends, they rushed into battle with all the courage 
of despair. 

Matters soon began to look grave outside the walls of 
Thebes. The fierce Kapaneus, who had boasted that he would 
take the town in spite of Zeus and all the divine portents, had 
reached the parapet of the walls on his storming ladder, when 
a lightning bolt from Zeus struck and hurled him to the 
ground. A general onset of the Thebans followed this event, 
the Argive army falling before them everywhere, and their 
leaders being slain. Etcokles and Polyneikcs pierced each 
other through the body in a hand-to-hand encounter. The 
earth, struck by a lightning bolt on the si)ot where Amphia- 
raos stood, yawned and swallowed him, from whi( h time for- 
ward he continued to exist as a spirit endowed with the gift 
of prophecy. Adrastos alone escaped, and that by means of 
the winged horse Arion. 

Kreon, the uncle of the fallen sons of CEdipos, succeeded 
to the throne of Thebes, and, as his first duty, buried Eteokles 
with great ceremony — a rite which he at the same time denied 
to the body of Polyneikes, on pain of death to any one who 
should perform it. The kindly heart of Antigone could not 

282 HEROES. 

bear this sentence, which caused her brother's soul to wander 
forever without rest in the lower world ; and accordingly she 
defied Kreon's strict order, and buried the corpse secretly, as 
she thought ; but his watchman having observed the act she 
was condemned to be buried alive — the fact of her being be- 
trothed to his son, Haemon, and the tears and entreaties of 
the latter, being of no avail to mitigate her doom. Antigone 
was pent in a subterranean chamber, in which, to avoid the 
pangs of starvation, she hanged herself. Haemon, unwilling 
to outlive her, put an end to his existence, and Kreonls-Jn- 
human cruelty was punished by the desolation of his house, 
by which the family of CEdipos became extinct. 

Thirty years having elapsed since the expedition of the seven, 
their sons undertook to avenge the death of their fathers by a 
second attack on Thebes. This was the so called war of the 
Epigoni (that is, *' offspring" or sons), which was entered 
upon with the consent of the gods, and ended in the destruc- 
tion of Thebes, which for a long time remained a mere open 
space called ''Lower Thebes." 




Contemporary with the conquest of Thebes by the Epigoni, 
which has been related aboNc, we find on the throne of Troy, 
or Ilion, a king named Priamos, whose chief distinction 
( onsisted in his being the father of a noble race of sons. His 
wife was Hekabe (or Hecuba). When the time approached 
fi)r another son to be born to them, their daughter Kas- 
sandra, on whom Apollo had bestowed the gift of prophecy, 
announced that the child would grow up to be the ruin of his 
country. To prevent such a calamity, the infant was at its 
birth exposed on Mount Ida, where it was found and brought 
p by shei)herds, in whose society and occupation Paris, or 
Alexandres, spent the early part of his life. 

On a beautiful day, as he tended his flocks, three goddesses 
( ame to him — Hera, Athene, and Aphrodite — commanding 
him to decide which of them was the most beautiful. Here 
we must explain. When Zeus withdrew, as we have already 
seen, from his proposed marriage with Thetis, on account of 
a prophecy communicated by Themis, that the issue of such 
a union would be a son who would surpass his father in might, 
it was agreed to give the sea-goddess in marriage to Peleus, a 
young prince of Phthia, in Thessaly, whose piety had en- 
deared him to the gods. "The gods came to their marriage 
feast," as they did to that of Kadmos and Harmonia, all but 
Eris, the goddess of strife. Angry at not being invited. 

284 HEROES. 

she determined to mar the pleasantness of the company, and 
to this end threw among them a golden apple, on which was 
written, '^To the most beautiful." Hereupon the three god- 
desses mentioned above claimed each the prize, and Zeus re- 
ferred them to Paris, the shepherd on Mount Ida, for a deci- 
sion. Unwilling at first to take upon himself so much re- 
sponsibility, Paris was at length persuaded to decide, on being 
promised the throne of Asia by Hera, immortal fame as a 
hero by Athene, and the loveliest wife on earth by Aphrodite. 
He assigned the prize to the last-mentioned goddess, and by 
so doing drew upon himself and his native country the most 
bitter enmity of the other two. 

In the meantime it happened that a sacrifice was to be of- 
fered in Troy, for which oxen were wanted. Two of the 
king's sons, Hektor and Helenos, were sent to the herd on 
Mount Ida, to select fitting animals. Their choice included 
one that was a favourite of Paris, who boldly refused to give 
it up, and followed it to the town, intending to demand its 
restoration from the king. But a quarrel ensued on the way, 
and Paris would have fallen at his brothers' hands, but for 
the timely appearance of Kassandra, who revealed the story 
of his birth. Then there was joy in the king's palace at the 
return of the lost son, grown up as he was, to be beautiful, 
handsome, and brave. The untoward prophecy was forgotten. 

The sudden change ffom the life of a herdsman to that of a 
prince surrounded by the pleasures of court and town, made 
Paris oblivious of the visit of the goddesses and the promise 
that had been made him of the most beautiful wife on earth. 
But Aphrodite meant to fulfil the promise, and to this end 
commanded him to have ships built to sail to Hellas, and pro- 
ceed to Sparta, where, in the person of Helena, he would 


find the wife in question. Paris obeyed, and was accom- 
panied on the journey by ^neas, a son of Anchises and 
the goddess Aphrodite. 

Arriving at A:nykhv\ he was met and kindly welcomed by 
the Dioscuri, Kastor and Polydeukes * Pollux), the brothers 
of Helena. To the same flimily (of which Zeus and Leda 
were the parents) belonged Klytaemnestra, the wife of 
Agamemnon, who, like her brother Kastor, was mortal, 
while the other two, Helena and Pollux, were immortal. Of 
the close attachment of the two brothers to each other there 
is a fine instance which we shall h<:re relate, though in point 
of time it did not take place till a little later. Being present, 
according to invitation, at the nuptials of Lynkeus and Idas 
with Phoebe and Hilaeeira, the daughters of Leukippos, 
they became enamoured of the brides, and attempted to carry 
them off. A fight ensued, in which Kastor, after slaying 
Lynkeus, fell into the hands of Idas, whom Pollux next slew 
to avenge his brother's death. Pollux then prayed to Zeus 
that he might restore his brother to life, proposing as a com- 
pensation that both should live only on alternate days. Zeus 
granted the prayer with its condition. In after times the twin- 
brothers were regarded as divine beings, and supposed to ride 
on white horses in the sky, with dazzling spears, and each 
with a star above his brow. In storms, when a mariner saw 
a ball of fire in the air, he was assured that the Dioscuri were 
near to helj) him. 

After spending some time with the Dioscuri, Paris, accom- 
panied by ^^neas, set out for S])arta, where he was received by 
the king, Menelaos, and his wife, Helena, in the same spirit 
of kindly hospitality as the brothers of the latter had displayed 
at AmyklcE. Of Menelaos we have already mentioned his 

286 HEROES. 

descent from Atreus. The story of his marriage and its 
consequences is as follows: — 

Such, it would seem, had been the astonishing beauty and 
grace of Helena, that even as a young girl she had captivated 
the hearts of men, and, among others, of Theseus, who carried 
her off. The Dioscuri, however, soon found and brought her 
back, taking with them as a prisoner, ^thra, the mother of 
Theseus, and presenting her as a servant to Helena. As 
Helena grew to womanhood, so numerous and so pressing 
were the noble suitors for her hand, that Tyndareus, her 
foster-father, became alarmed at the prospect of provoking the 
hostility of so many, by choosing one of them for her. He 
determined, therefore, to allow her to choose for herself. But 
first he called upon them all to take an oath, not only that 
they would be satisfied with her choice, but would assist her 
husband then and after in whatever danger or difficulty he 
might be placed. She chose Menelaos, the brother of Aga- 
memnon, her sister's husband, and the marriage was celebrated 
with great pomp. Tyndareus, however, had omitted to offer 
a sacrifice to Aphrodite, who, to punish him, made the heart 
of his foster-daughter readily accessible to unbridled love. 

Paris, as has been said, was kindly received by Menelaos, 
and freely admitted to his hospitality and the society of his 
wife, Helena, with whom he soon formed an attachment which 
deepened with time, and under the influence of the costly pre- 
sents of Asiatic wares wliich he gave her. Menelaos, meanwhile 
suspecting nothing, i^repared to pay a visit to Idomeneus of 
Crete, leaving his wife under the care of his guest. With her 
husband safely at a distance, Helena was readily persuaded to 
elope with Paris to Troy, to become his wife, and there live in 
oriental luxury and splendour. Reaching the coast under the 


cover of night, they embarked, and after weathering a storm 
sent by Hera, the goddess of marriage troth, reached Troy in 
safety, and were married witli great pomp and magnificence. 

To Menelaos, at tiie court of Idomeneus in Crete, Iris, the 
divine messenger, carried the intelligence of the disgrace that 
had fallen on his house. Returning at once, and having con- 
sulted his powerful brother, Agamemnon, he proceeded to 
Pylos, to seek the advice of the aged Nestor, whose reputation 
for prudence and wisdom throughout Greece had been acquired 
by his services in many wars in the course of the two prece- 
ding generations, such was his great age. His counsel on this 
occasion was that nothing short of a combination of all the 
armies of Greece would be sufficient to punish the crime 
that had been committed, and recover the possession of 

Acting on this advice, Menelaos and Agamemnon visited all 
the i)rinces and heroes of the -land, to obtain pledges of their 
assistance. Those who had been suitors of Helena had been 
bound by an oath to assist Menelaos whenever called uj^on by 
him to do so, and were now ready to carry out their engage- 
ment. Others promptly offered their services, from feelings of 
resentment at the vileness of the act of Paris. Only in two 
cases was any difficulty experienced, but they were very im- 
portant cases, as it proved. The first was that of Odys.seus 
(Ulysses), son of Laertes, the king of the island of Ithaka. 
His beautiful and faithful wife, Penelope, had borne him a 
son, Telemachos, and being in the enjoyment of perfect do- 
mestic felicity, he was unwilling to exchange it for a i)art in a 
war, the issue of which aj)i)eared very dubious. But instead 
of returning a blunt an.^wer, he pretended insanity, put on a 
fisherman's hat. yoked a horse and an ox together, and com- 


menced to plough. But Palamedes, detecting the sham, set 
the infant Telemachos on the ground in front of the plough. 
In saving the child Odysseus revealed the sobriety of his 
senses, and was compelled to join the expedition. The other 
case was that of Achilles, the son of Peleus and Thetis, a 
nymph of the sea. 

Thetis having been offered by the gods the choice in behalf 
of her son, of either a long life spent in obscurity and retire- 
ment, or a few years of dazzling martial fame, chose the-4ife 
of obscurity, and with that view conveyed him, dressed as a 
girl, to the court of Lykomedes, in the island of Skyros. 
There he was brought up among the king's daughters, and 
gained the love of one of them, Deidamia, who bore him a 
son, Neoptolemos, who afterwards took part in the war against 
Troy. Meantime it was known to be of the highest import- 
ance for the Trojan expedition to discover the concealment of 
the young son of Thetis, and to enlist his services. For that 
purpose Odysseus was sent in the dress and character of a 
trader to Skyros. On the pretext of offering his trinkets and 
wares for sale to the king's daughters, he obtained admittance 
to the palace, and discovered Achilles, disguised as he was. 
Odysseus ordered a magnificent suit of armour to be displayed 
before the youth, and a call to arms to be sounded on a mili- 
tary horn. The scheme was successful — an impulse to achieve 
military glory seized upon Achilles, who forthwith offered his 
services to the projected expedition. Peleus sent Patroklos, 
the son of Menostios, to be a companion for his son. 

The harbour of Aulis was where the various contingents of 
ships and soldiery were appointed to assemble; and when they 
had all arrived — more than i,ooo ships, each with at least 150 
men — it was a sight such as had never been seen in Greece 


before. Agamemnon, the most powerful prince in Greece, 
was elected to the position of commander of the expedition. 

While the fleet lay in Aulis, a serpent was observed coiling 
itself round a plane-tree, on which was a sparrow's nest with 
nine young birds. The serpent devoured the young ones, but 
on turning to the mother-bird was instantly changed into stone. 
Kalchas, the high-priest, was summoned to divine what the 
strange occurrence might betoken. He replied: **Nine years 
we must fight round Ilion, and on the tenth take the town." 
Thereafter the fleet sailed, crossed the ^gean, and landed by 
mistake in Mysia, which the Greeks prepared to lay waste. 
They were, however, stoutly opposed by the king of the coun- 
try, Telephos, a son of Herakles. In the contest Patroklos 
proved his bravery, fighting side by side with Achilles. He 
received a wound, which Achilles — thanks to his early training 
under the Centaur Cheiron, and the knowledge of medicine 
then obtained — was able to cure. Telephos also had received 
a wound from a spear of Achilles in the engagement, and, 
finding that it would not heal, consulted an oracle regarding 
it. The reply of the oracle was that it could be healed only 
by him who had caused it. Meantime another oracle was 
communicated to the Greeks, to the intent that Telephos 
should lead them to Troy. How this came about we shall see 

The Greek fleet had returned again to the harbour of Aulis. 
While lying there, Agamemnon had chanced to see a beautiful 
stag, sacred to Artemis. His passion for the chase led him to 
draw upon the stag, and kill it, while in the pride of his suc- 
cess he dared to boast that he could excel the goddess of the 
chase herself. This was the cause of a series of misfortunes 
that then befel him. The injured goddess first sent a calm 

290 HEROES. 

which detained the fleet week after week. In spite of Palame- 
des' invention of the game of draughts and other means of 
amusement, the prolonged inactivity began to tell upon the 
force, and to create serious discontent. At last Kalchas, be- 
ing ordered to discover what the gods desired, explained that 
Artemis required, on the part of Agamemnon, the sacrifice of 
his daughter Iphigeneia. His fatherly feelings had to yield 
to his sense of duty as commander of the expedition. He 
sent a message to his wife Klytaemnestra, to come to Aulis, 
bringing Iphigeneia with her, — to be married, he said to 
Achilles. They came ; but it was as a victim, not as a bride, 
that Agamemnon led his daughter to the altar of Artemis. 
The goddess, satisfied with his intentions, suddenly appeared 
on the scene, provided a goat for the sacrifice, carried off 
Iphigeneia in a cloud to Taurus, and appointed her to the 
care of her temple there. Klytaemnestra could not forgive 
her husband for the deception he had practiced. How she 
avenged herself shall be afterwards related. 

In consequence of the oracle concerning the wound which 
he had received from the spear of Achilles, Telephos proceeded 
to Aulis, where the Greek fleet lay, and presented himself in 
disguise to Agamemnon, seized his infant son, Orestes, whom 
•Klytaemnestra had brought with her, and threatened to slay 
the child, if healing were refused him. Odysseus interposed, 
and scraping some of the rust from the spear of Achilles, ap- 
plied it to the wound, and healed it. Thereupon Telephos 
offered his services in leading the expedition to Troy, and, 
the oracle being thus fulfilled, the Greeks set sail a second 
time for Troy landing on their way at Lemnos, to sacrifice at 
an altar raised there by Herakles, Philoktetes, who had in- 
herited the bow and arrows of Herakles, was bitten in the 


foot by a snake, and suffered agony that made him scream 
continually. Unable to heal the wound, and unwilling to 
endure his screams, the Greeks left him behind, and proceeded 
on their journey, reaching at last the Trojan shore. 

The First Years of- the War. 

The Trojans having received intelligence of the hostile pre- 
parations of the Greeks, prepared on their part also to meet 
the enemy, assembling in and around the city of Troy all the 
forces they could obtain from neighbours and allies. Their 
foremost hero, whom they chose to lead them in assaults, was 
Hektor, the eldest son of the king. The first engagement 
of the two forces occurred while the Greeks were in the act of 
landing from their ships, the result of it being that the Trojans 
were driven back within their walls, but not without inflicting 
considerable loss on their enemy. The first attempt of the 
Greeks to take the town by storm entirely failed, and, findijig 
that the Trojans would not surrender Helena to her husband, 
the Greek commander could see no other means of compelling 
them to do so than by a siege. Accordingly a well-fortified 
camp was constructed round the ships, which had been hauled 
up on the shore, and with that camp to fall back upon, the 
Greek army proceeded to lay waste the territory and towns in 
the neighbourhood. The Trojan forces, acknowledging the 
superiority of the besiegers, did not seek a battle, and ex- 
cepting such incidents as when Achilles and Hektor fought in 
single combat, or when Troilos, the youngest son of Priam, 
was captured and put to death by Achilles, nothing of mo- 
ment transpired. 

In the course of the raids matlc by the Greeks in the neigh- 

292 , HEROES. 

bourhood, it happened that having taken the town of Pedasos, 
and come to divide the spoils, Agamemnon obtained as his 
captive Chryseis, a daughter of Chryses, the priest of 
Apollo in the island of Chryse, while to the lot of Achilles 
fell Brise'is, a maiden as beautiful as tlie priest's daughter. 
Chryses entreated Agamemnon to restore him his daughter, 
offering a heavy ransom for her, but was met with refusal 
and contumely. Having one other resource — an appeal to 
the god in whose service he was — Chryses implored the aid 
of Apollo, who, being for other reasons also hostile to the 
Greeks, visited them with a plague which carried them off in 
great numbers. Agamemnon called a muster of the army, 
and inquired of the high-priest, Kalchas, by what the angry 
god could be appeased. Kalchas, being assured of the pro- 
tection of Achilles, boldly declared that the wrath of Apollo 
had been caused by the unjust detention of Chryseis, a 
daughter of one of the priests. Upon this, Agamemnon, who 
had borne a grudge against Kalchas ever since the sacrifice 
of Iphigeneia, rated the priest in reproachful terms, charging 
him also in the present instance with being in league with 
Achilles — a charge which the latter would have resented with 
force, had not the goddess Athene interposed. Agamemnon 
felt his dignity as king and commander of the army insulted 
by the threat of Achilles, and demanded as satisfaction for 
this the person of the beautiful Briseis, apparently to take the 
place of Chryseis, whom he had been compelled to give up. 
Achilles having been warned by Athene to be calm, confessed 
his inaljility to resist the demand, and from lliat time with- 
drew with all his men from the camp. 

Thetis having beseeched Zeus to take measures to c()mi)el 
^gam'.•l^n(>Il to atone f(;r this insuU to her son, obtained a 


divine decree setting forth that so long as Achilles held aloof 
the Greeks woiikl be defeated in every engagement with the 
Trojans. Emboldened by the intelligence of the step taken 
by Achilles, the Trojans sallied from their walls, and after 
numerous battles, skirmishes, and ])ersonal encounters, always 
attended with serious loss to the enemy, drove the Greeks 
back to the shelter of their fortified camp beside the ships. 
At last, abased ami humiliated by disasters, Agamemnon sent 
an embassy to Achilles, offering to restore Briseis, and in ad- 
dition to bestow on him his daughter's hand, with seven towns 
for a dowry. But the wrath of Achilles would not relent, and 
still the need of his countrymen grew worse. 

The end seemed to be near when Hektor, at the head of 
the Trojans, had stormed the wall of the camp, and set 
several of the ships on fire. Seeing this, Patroklos begged 
Achilles to lend him his armour, and allow him to h.'ad the 
Myrmidons to the fight. The request being granted, Pa- 
troklos and his men were soon in the heat of the battle, their 
sudden reappearance striking the Trojan army with terror, 
and causing it to fall back. Not content with thus deciding 
the battle, Patroklos, disregarding the advice of Achilles, 
pursued the enemy till Hektor, turning round, engaged him 
in a hand-to-hand fight, the issue of which was the death of 
the Greek hero. Hektor stripped him of the armour of 
A.chilles, which he wore, but left the body for the Greeks to 
take possession of. The grief of Achilles at the loss of his 
friend was as violent as had been his anger against Agamem- 
non. He called for vengeance on Hektor, and with the ob- 
ject in view of obtaining it, yielded to a reconciliation wliith 
all the sufferings of his countrymen could not i)reviously in- 
duce him to submit to. With armour more dazzling and 

294 HEROES. 

superb than had ever been seen before, forged by the god He- 
phaestos, and brought by Thetis in the hour of her son's need, 
he went forth to battle, seeking Hektor in the Trojan ranks, 
which everywhere hurried back like sheep before a wolf. The 
Trojan hero stepped forth to meet his adversary, but not with- 
out sad misgivings. He had said farewell to his faithful wife, 
Andromache, and to his boy, Astyanax. But even the 
strong sense of duty to his country, which had supported him 
in this domestic scene, deserted him utterly when the young 
Greek hero approached with the dauntless bearing of the god 
of war himself. Hektor fled ; but Achilles, having a faster step, 
cut off his retreat, and thus imbued him with the courage of 
despair. The combat did not last long, the victory of Achilles 
being easily won. 

Unappeased by the death of Hektor, Achilles proceeded to 
outrage his lifeless body by binding it to his war-chariot. 
After dragging it thus three times round the walls of Troy in 
the face of the people, he returned with it to the Greek camp, 
and there cast it among dust and dirt. Displeased by such 
excess of passion, the gods took care of Hektor's body, and 
saved it from corruption, while Zeus in the meantime softened 
the heart of Achilles, and prepared him for the performance 
of an act of generosity which was to blot out the memory of 
his previous cruelty. On the one hand, Thetis was employed 
to persuade her son to give up the body without a ransom. 
On the other hand, Hermes was sent to bid Priam go stealth- 
ily in the night to Achilles' tent, and beg the body of his 
son. The aged king of Troy obeyed, and coming to the 
young hero's tent, besought him, as he valued his own father, 
to give him leave to take away the lifeless body, and pay to it 
the customary rites of burial. Achilles was touched by the 


gentleness of liis beseeching, raiseil the old man from his 
knees, shared with him the hospitality of his tent, and, in the 
morning, having given up the body, sent him back under a 
safe escort. In the pause of hostilities that took place then, 
the Greeks buried tlie body of Patroklos with great ceremony. 

The Death of Achilles. 

The loss of Hektor had so dispirited the Trojans, that 
without fresh succours they could not face the enemy again. 
Such succours, however, consisting of an army of Amazons, 
under the command of the beautiful Penthesilea, arrived 
in the interval of mourning for Hektor in the one camp and 
for Patroklos in the other. When hostilities commenced 
again, the valiant Penthesilea, being eager to measure her 
strength with that of Achilles, and to avenge the death of 
Hektor, led the Trojan army into battle. The leaders of the 
Greeks were Achilles and Ajax, the son of Telamon. While 
the latter hero was engaged in driving back the Trojan ranks, 
Achilles and Penthesilea met in single combat. He would 
have spared her willingly, and did not, till compelled in self- 
defence, strike with all his might. Then she fell mortally 
wounded, and as she fell, remembering the fate of Hektor's 
body, implored Achilles to spare hers that disgrace. There 
was no need of this ; for he, to save her still if possible, and if 
not, to soothe her last moments, lifted her in his arms, and 
there held her till she died. The Trojans and Amazons made 
a combined rush to rescue the body of their leader; but 
Achilles made a sign to them to halt, and praising her valour, 
youth, and beauty, gave it to them freely — a kindly act which 
touched friends and foes alike. Among the Greeks, however. 

296 HEROES. 

there was one Thersites, mean and deformed in mind as well 
as body, who not only dared to impute a scandalous motive to 
Achilles, but, approaching the fallen Amazon, struck his spear 
into her lightless eye. A sudden blow from Achilles laid him 
lifeless on the ground. 

All who saw this punishment inflicted approved of it, except 
Diomedes, the son of Tydeus, a relation by blood of Ther- 
sites, who stepped forward and demanded of Achilles the usual 
reparation, consisting of a sum of money. Feeling himself 
deeply wronged because his countrymen, and especially Aga- 
memnon, did not unconditionally take his part in the matter, 
Achilles abandoned for a second time the cause of the Greeks, 
and took ship to Lesbos. Odysseus was sent after him, and 
by dint of smooth words, cleverly directed, succeeded in 
bringing him back to the camp. 

What made the return of Achilles more urgent at that time 
was the arrival of a new ally to the Trojans, in the person of 
Memnon, a son of Eos (Aurora) and Tithonos, who besides 
being the son of a goddess, as well as Achilles, appeared fur- 
ther to be a proper match for him, inasmuch as he also carried 
armour fashioned by Hephaestos. Wlien the two heroes met, 
and were fighting fiercely, Zeus received in Olympos a simul- 
taneous visit from their respective mothers, Thetis and Eos, 
both imploring him to spare their sons. He answered that 
the issue must abide the will of Fate, Moera, to discover which 
he took the golden balance for weighing out life and death, 
and placing in one scale the fate of Achilles and in the other 
that of Memnon, saw the latter sink to denote his death. Eos 
made haste to the battle-field, but found her son dead. She 
carried away his body, and buried it in his native land, in 
the distant east. 


Achilles did not long enjoy his triumph ; for, animated by 

sucf^ess, he led on tlic Oreeks, and would have captured Troy, 
however clearly the Fates might have decreed the contrary, 
had not Apollo given unerring flight to an arrow drawn by 
Paris. By that shaft from an unworthy source, as far as could 
be judged, Achilles fell. Ajax, the stout hero, and Odysseus, 
clever as well as brave, seized his body, and fighting all the 
way carried it back to camp, where its burial was attended 
with extraordinary pomp and ceremonial, the Muses chanting 
dolorous lays, and the heroes who had known him personally 
taking part, as was the custom on such occasions, in athletic 
competitions. Tlie armour which he had worn in the fight 
was offered by Thetis to the most deserving. Only two claims 
were preferred, and those were on behalf of the two heroes 
wlio had rescued his body. The award being given in favour 
of Odysseus, Ajax, from grief at what he deemed neglect, sank 
into a state of insanity, in the course of which he intentionally 
fell upon his sword, and died. 

A cessation of hostilities was obtained on the death of 
Achilles and Ajax, the two foremost of the Greek heroes. This 
period of peace having expired, and the former conditions of 
war having been resumed, the first event of importance that 
occurred was the capture of Helenos, a son of Priam, who, 
like his sister, Kassandra, was endowed with the gift of pro- 
jjhecy. Odysseus, who had made the capture, compelled 
llelenos to disclose the measures by which it was decreed that 
the siege should be brought to a determination. The answer 
was, that to take the city of Troy, and thus close the siege, 
three things were necessary: i, the assistance of the son of 
Achilles, Neoptolemos ; 2, the bow and arrows of Herakles ; 
3, the possession of the Palladium (an image of the goddess 

298 HEROES. 

Pallas- Athene), which was carefully preserved in the citadel of 
Troy. In satisfying the first condition no difficulty was ex- 
perienced. Odysseus, always ready to be of service for the 
common good, proceeded to Skyros, where he found Neop- 
tolemos grown to manhood, and thirsting for martial renown. 
A present of the splendid armour which his father, Achilles, 
had worn and which Odysseus now magnanimously parted 
with, fired the youth's ambition, and led him easily to Troy, 
where he distinguished himself in a combat with Eurypylos 
(a son of Telephos), who had joined the Trojan ranks. 

A more serious matter was the fulfilment of the second con- 
dition, seeing that the bow and arrows of Herakles were then 
in the possession of Philoktetes, whom, as we have already 
said, the Greeks abandoned at Lemnos, not caring to endure 
the screams caused by the wound in his foot. His feelings 
were known to be rancorous towards the Greeks. Notwith- 
standing that, Odysseus, accompanied by Diomedes (or, as 
others say, by Neoptolemos), went to Lemnos, and successfully 
tricked Philoktetes into following him to Troy, where his 
wound was healed by Machseon, a son of Asklepios, and a 
reconciliation was effected between him and Agamemnon. 
The first on whom his fatal arrows were tried was Paris, after 
whose death Helena married his brother, Deiphobos. The 
Trojans were now completely shut up within the town, no one 
daring to face the arrows of Philoktetes. 

There remained, however, a third condition — the seizure 
of the Palladium. Odysseus, successful in the other two, and 
undaunted by the greater difficulty of the new adventure, pro- 
posed to steal alone within the walls of Troy in the disguise 
of a beggar, and as a first measure to find out where the Pal- 
ladium was preserved. He did so, and remained unrecognized 


excej)t by Helena, who, liaving felt ever sinr.e the death of 
Paris a yearning for Menclaos, proved to be a valuable ally. 
Odysseus, in the meantime, returned to the Greek camp to 
obtain the assistance of Diomedes. The two having made 
their way back to Troy, laid hold of the Palladium, and, car- 
rying it off in safety, fulfilled the third and last condition. 

The next difficulty was the plan of assault to be adopted. 
It was proposed by Odysseus, on the suggestion of the god- 
dess Athene, that Epeios, a famous sculptor, should make a 
great v/ooden horse, sufficiently large to hold inside a number 
of the bravest Greeks, and that the horse being ready, and 
the heroes concealed within it beyond detection, the whole 
Greek army should embark and set sail, as if making home- 
ward. The plan of Odysseus was agreed to, and great was 
the joy of the Trojans when they saw the fleet set sail. The 
people, scarcely trusting their eyes, flocked to the abandoned 
camp, to make sure. There they found nothing remaining 
but a great wooden horse, about the use of which various 
opinions arose — some thinking it an engine of war, and de- 
manding its instant destruction. But the opinion that pre- 
vailed most was that it must have been an object of religious 
veneration, and if so, ought to be taken into the city. Among 
those who thought otherwise was Laokoon, a priest of Apollo, 
who had arrived on the scene, accompanied by his two young 
sons, to ofler a sacrifice to the god in whose service he was. 
Laokoon warned his countrymen in no case to accept this gift 
of the Greeks, and went so far as to thrust his spear into the 
belly of the horse, upon which the weapons of the heroes 
within were heard to clash, and the bystanders were all but 
convinced of the justice of the priest's opinion. But the gods 
had willed it otherwise, and to turn the opinion of the people 

300 HEROES. 

against Laokoon, sent a judgment upon him in the shape of 
two enormous serpents, which, while he and his two sons were 
engaged in sacrificing at an altar by the shore, issued from 
the sea, and casting their coils round the two boys first, then 
round the father, who came to their assistance, caused him to 
die in great agony. The scene is reoresented in a marble 
group now in the Vatican, from which *the figure in Plate 
XXXIV. is taken. The mysterious fate of Laokoon-^w^as 
readily believed to be a punishment for the violence he had 
done to the sacred horse. 

But to carry out effectually the stratagem of the horse, 
Odysseus had left behind on the shore his friend Sinon, with 
his hands bound, and presenting all the appearance of a victim 
who had escaped sacrifice, which he professed to be. The 
good king Priam was touched by the piteous story which Sinon 
told, ordered his bonds to be struck off, and inquired the 
purpose of the horse. Sinon replied that it was a sacred 
object, and would, if taken into the city, be a guarantee of 
the protection of the gods, as the Palladium had been before. 
The city gates being too small, part of the wall was broken 
through, and the horse conducted in triumph towards the 
citadel. This done, the Trojans, believing that the Greeks 
had abandoned the siege in despair, gave way to festivity and 
general rejoicing, which lasted well into the night. 

When the town had become perfectly quiet, the inhabitants, 
exhausted by the unusual excitement, being fast asleep, Sinon 
approached the horse, and opened a secret door in its side. 
The heroes then stepped out, and made a fire signal to the 
fleet, which lay concealed behind the neighbouring island of 
Tenedos, and now advanced quietly to the shore. The troops 
having disembarked and made their way silently to the city. 


there ensued a fearful slaughter, the surprised inhabitants 
falling thickly before the well-armed Greeks. Finally the 
town was set on fire in every corner, and utterly destroyed. 
Priam fell by the hand of Neoptolemos. The same fate befel 
the son of Hektor — not for anything that he had done, but 
that he might not grow up to avenge his father's death. Of 
the few Trojans who escaped were ^€*^neas, his father Anchises, 
and his infant son Askanios. Carrying his aged father on his 
shoulders, ^neas fled towards Mount Ida, and thence to 
Italy, where he became the founder of a new race. 

Menelaos became reconciled to his now penitent wife, 
Helena, and took her back with him. The Trojan women of 
rank and beauty were distributed among the Greek heroes as 
captives in war, Neoptolemos obtaining Andromache, the 
widow of Hektor, and Agamemnon carrying off Priam's 
daughter, Kassandra. The extensive booty from the king's 
palaces having been divided, preparations were made for 
returning home. While some — as, for example, Nestor, 
Idomeneus, Diomedes, Philoktetes, and Neoptolemos — had 
favourable voyages, and reached their respective homes in 
safety, others, like Menelaos, were driven hither and thither 
by storms, which delayed their passage for years. But the 
heroes to whose return the greatest interest attaches, were 
Agamemnon and Odysseus. 

Agamemnon, returning after an absence of ten years, found 
that his wife, Klytaemnestra, had in the meantime accepted as 
her husband iEgisthos, a son of Thyestes, and therefore of 
an accursed line. These two proposed to compass the death 
of Agamemnon ; and he, though warned of their designs by 
Kassandra, whose prophetic power enabled her to foresee the 
issue, lent himself easily to their purpose, innocently accepting 

302 HEROES. 

as genuine his wife's expression of joy. He entered the warm 
bath that had been prepared for him, but on coming out of it, 
found himself entangled in a piece of cloth which his wife 
threw over his head. In this helpless condition he was slain 
by her and ^gisthos, Kassandra and many of his followers 
perishing with him. His young son Orestes contriving to 
escape with the help of his sister Elektra, fled to Phokis, 
where he was received hospitably, and remained several years, 
during which ^gisthos ruled over Argos on the throne of 

A few years after the murder of Agamemnon an oracle of 
Apollo was communicated to Orestes, commanding him to 
revenge that foul deed, and promising the assistance of the 
god. Without being recognized he arrived at Mykenae, ac- 
companied by his faithful friend Pylades, and there revealed 
himself to his sister Elektra, while to his mother he professed 
to be a messenger come with intelligence of the death of her 
son Orestes. Seeing her and ^gisthos rejoice at the news, 
he was enraged, and slew her, while her husband fell at the 
hands of Pylades. 

The shedding of a mother's blood was regarded as the 
blackest crime on earth ; and though the fact that Orestes had 
perpetrated the deed to avenge the murder of his father, and 
at the instigation of Apollo, went far to exculpate him, it did 
not satisfy the malignant Erinys (Furies), who pursued him 
from land to land, permitting no peace to his throbbing heart. 
Arriving, in the course of his wanderings, at Delphi, Orestes 
complained to Apollo of his sufferings, and was told by the 
god that he might expect relief if he could fetch the ancient 
statue of the goddess Artemis from Taurus. The difficulty of 
the task consisted in this, that it was the practice of the Tauric 


Artemis to secure the immolation of all strangers that ap- 
proached her temple. Fortunately for Orestes, as it happened, 
his sister Iphigeneia held the office of priestess there, having 
been carried away, as we have already seen, by the goddess at 
the moment when she was to be sacrificed by her father Aga- 
memnon. On arriving at the temple, Orestes, who was accom- 
panied by Pylades, was seized, and would have been sacrificed 
by the hand of his own sister, had not an accident revealed 
the relationship. He told her all that had happened, and 
how Apollo had commanded him to carry away the statue of 
the goddess. With the assistance of Iphigeneia he obtained 
possession of the image, and in her company returned with it 
to Greece. 

The task imposed by Apollo was accomplished, but still 
the relentless Furies continued to persecute the unhappy 
youth, Apollo then advised him to proceed to Athens, and 
there to call for a trial in the Areopagus, a court appointed 
to hear causes of murder, especially the murder of a relative. 
(See "Ares"). The goddess Athene appealed for justice in 
his behalf. Apollo defended him at the trial. The Erinys 
appeared as plaintifTs. When the pleadings had been heard, 
and the votes of the judges came to be taken, they were found 
to be equally divided for and against. The right of giving 
the casting vote was reserved on this occasion for Athene, 
who, stepping forward, took up a white voting-stone, and 
placing it among the votes favourable to Orestes, declared his 
lawful acquittal. The Erinys professed themselves appeased, 
desisted from persecution, and from that time enjoyed the 
title of Eumenides. (See ** Erinys"). Thus acquitted, and 
purified from the stains of crime, Orestes ascended the throne 
of his father Agamemnon, in Mykenae, married Hermione, 

304 HEROES. 

the daughter of Helena and Menelaos, and at their death suc- 
ceeded to the dominion of Sparta also. 

Turning Iiow to Odysseus, we find him, long after the other 
heroes of the Trojan expedition had reached their homes, still 
being tossed about by storms, passing through great perils, 
encountering strange beings, and ultimately succeeding in 
many unhopeful adventures. He had left Troy with a well- 
manned fleet richly laden with spoil, and after several -ad^ 
ventures of less moment, in which, however, he lost a number 
of men, reached the country of the Kyklopes — enormous 
giants with only one eye. In a cave which was the habitation 
of one of them, Polyphemos by name, a son of the sea- 
god Poseidon, Odysseus and his fellow-travellers took shelter, 
while their ships lay anchored beside a neighbouring island. 
Polyphemos, who was absent at the time of their arrival, 
returned with his sheep to the cave. The first thing he did 
on entering was to close up the entrance with a great stone, 
which a hundred men could not have moved. The next thing 
was, having discovered the strangers, to eat two of them for 
his supper, after which he slept soundly. The following 
morning, after driving out his sheep, he replaced the stone at 
the mouth of the cave, to prevent the escape of his victims, 
and the consequent loss of several suppers. The history of 
the first day having repeated itself on the two following days, 
a plan of escape occurred to Odysseus. The giant having 
had his usual supper, Odysseus offered him some wine, which 
had the effect of creating a desire for more. His goblet 
being constantly replenished, Polyphemos at last sank help- 
less, through sleep and intoxication. Seeing this, Odysseus, 
with the help of his companions, laid hold of a great pole, 
and having made the end of it red hot, let it down on the 


giant's eye, and burned it out. Polyphemos sprang up in 
great fury, and after groping in vain for his supple enemies, 
made for the doorway of the cave, removed the stone, and 
sat down in its place, determined to permit no one to escape. 
But Odysseus and his companions fastened themselves each 
under the belly of one of the great sheep within the cave, 
knowing that the giant would let them pass out unmolested. 
And so it was; for, feeling the fleece as they passed, he was 
quite satisfied. Odysseus once outside the cave, and with 
what remained of his crew safe in the ship, shouted jeeringly 
back to the Kyklops, telling him also his name. Polyphemos 
then implored his father, the god Poseidon, to punish Odys- 
seus for what he had just done. It was in answer to this 
prayer that Odysseus was driven hither and thither, detained 
here and there, and at last, after ten years* wandering, and 
the loss of all his men, reached home in a miserable plight. 

Of the adventures that befel him after leaving the country 
of the Kyklopes, the most important were the following: — 
After leaving ^£olos, the king of the winds, and suffering the 
misfortune already related (see ''^olos"), he reached the 
habitation of the sorceress Circe (a sister of Medea, it was 
said), whose first act was to transform his companions into 
swine. For Odysseus himself her charms had no potency. 
He compelled her to restore his men to their proper human 
form. Changing her manner, Circe now exhibited a cordial 
feeling towards Odysseus, entertaining him and his companions 
very hospitably for the period of a year, on the expiry of which 
she advised him to make a journey to the lower world, to ques- 
tion the shade of the seer Teiresias as to the fate in store for 
him. Acting on her advice, Odysseus penetrated to the region 
of Hades, saw and conversed with the shades of some of his 
■ 20 



former companions in the siege of Troy, and then returned to 
Circe, who gave him good counsel in regard to his future 
journey. On his voyage homeward he passed the Sirens 
safely (see "Sirens"), passed Scylla the sea-monster, with loss 
of six men, and afterwards, in spite of the warnings both of 
Teiresias and Circe, landed on the island of Trinakia, where 
his companions plundered the sacred flocks of the sun-god. 
As a punishment for this they were afterwards overtaken^hj^ a 
fearful storm at sea, and all perished except Odysseus, who, 
clinging to a piece of his ship for nine days, was at length 
driven on shore on the island belonging to the nymph Kalypso, 
who received him kindly, and out of love detained him as her 
prisoner for seven years. 

Despising her love and her offer of immortality, Odysseus 
sat disconsolate by the sea-shore, thinking of his home in 
Ithaka, and yearning to see it again before he died. The gods, 
taking compassion on him, prevailed on Kalypso to let him 
go. He made a raft, and put to sea; but Poseidon, not yet 
appeased for the wrong done to his son Polyphemos, raised a 
storm which shattered the small craft, and would have caused 
Odysseus to perish but for the timely aid of the sea-nymph 
Leukothea. Swimming to land, he found himself in the 
island of the Phaeakians, was discovered on the shore by the 
king's daughter, Nausikaa, and entertained hospitably by the 
king, Alkinoos, to whom he related his adventures. After re- 
ceiving many costly presents, he was conveyed home to Ithaka 
in a well-manned ship. There he found his wife, Penelope, 
still faithful to him, in spite of the incessant wooing of all the 
princes of the neighbouring islands in the course of her 
hui^band's long absence. 

His son, Tclemachos, whom he left an infant, had now 


grown to manhood, and having just arrived from a journey 
in search of intelligence concerning his missing father, was 
staying in the house of a shepherd when Odysseus arrived, and 
heard the story of how the suitors of Penelope were vexing 
her and consuming her husband's i)os6essions. Odysseus and 
his son appeared among them in disguise, raised a quarrel, 
and with tlie help of Athene, slew them all. Then took place 
the touching meeting with his wife. After crushing an in- 
surrection raised by the friends of the slain suitors, Odysseus 
spent the rest of his life in reigning peacefully over his island 
kingdom of Ithaka. 


The Romans had no heroes in the sense in which we have 
come to regard tliat word from a study of the Greek legends. 
Romulus and Remus, it is true, have a legendary character, 
which may be compared in some respects with that of several 
Greek heroes. They were the offspring of a god (Mars) and a 
vestal virgin. They were exposed to death at their birth, 
were suckled by a she-wolf, were preserved and brought up 
among herdsmen. On arriving at manhood, they returned to 
claim their inheritance, and founded the city of Rome, Romu- 
lus naming it after himself. They instituted festivals — the 
Palilia and Lupercalia — the latter to commemorate their 
having been nourished by a wolf. They established the 
priesthood of Arval Brothers. Remus, less fortunate in his 
adventures, was slain. His brother Romulus was at last car- 
ried up bodily to heaven in the presence of the people, and in 
the course of a storm of thunder and lightning. A simple hut 
on the Palatine hill was preserved with veneration as the 

3o8 HEROES. 

sanctuary of Romulus. But the demand for historical truth, 
or the appearance of it, was too strong in Rome to permit a 
poetic embellishment of the story, such as it would have ex- 
perienced in Greece. 


The ancient Roman ballads sang of the brave Horatius, 
who had fought so well in the old wars raised by the exiled 
Royal family and their partisans. A golden statue of him 
stood in the market-place, and beside it sacrifice was offered 
in his memory. Such honours were the same as were ap- 
pointed for Greek heroes. But the story of the deeds of 
Horatius wanted, nevertheless the true legendary character, 
and was probably accepted by the people with m.ore of pride 
than pious feeling. 


n kinsfolk — the Greeks — the Teutons 
y people. Their mythical tales were 
but in memory. And Christianity, 
. J .he missionaries and by Charlemagne 
himself, did its best to destroy Teutonic paganism root and 
branch. Hence it happens that of the myths of the gods and 
heroes of those great nations who, in pre-Christian times, in- 
habited the territories now included under the general name 
Germany, no complete and systematic account has been trans- 
mitted to modern times. 

But the old Germans were of the same race with the people 
of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Their speech was essen- 
tially the same. They had the same social and domestic 
customs, and the Svime religion. Further, during the time 
when Christianity was spreading over Germany and Scandina- 
via, that exodus of the Norsemen was likewise taking place 
which ended in the colonization of Iceland — or Snowland, as 
it was also named by its discoverers in the middle of the ninth 
century. There, **on the verge," as Dr. Dasent says, '*of 
the polar circle," the Vikings established their little indepen- 
dent principalities or republics; unmcddlcd witli by Christian 


3o8 HEROES. 

sanctuary of Romulus. But the demand for historical truth, 
or the appearance of it, was too strong in Rome to permit a 
poetic embellishment of the story, such as it would have ex- 
perienced in Greece. 


The ancient Roman ballads sang of the brave Horatius, 
who had fought so well in the old wars raised by the exiled 
Royal family and their partisans. A golden statue of him 
stood in the market-place, and beside it sacrifice was offered 
in his memory. Such honours were the same as were ap- 
pointed for Greel'"*-Vfroea*_^_But the story of the deeds of 
Horatius wanted, ~^^^rlp^endary character, 

and was probably iore of pride 

than pious feelin / 



UNX,IKE their Aryan kinsfolk — the Greeks — the Teutons 
were not a literary people. Their mythical tales were 
preserved not in books, but in memory. And Christianity, 
as represented alike by the missionaries and by Charlemagne 
himself, did its best to destroy Teutonic paganism root and 
branch. Hence it happens that of the myths of the gods and 
heroes of those great nations who, in pre-Christian times, in- 
habited the territories now included under the general name 
Germany, no complete and systematic account has been trans- 
mitted to modern times. 

But the old Germans were of the same race with the people 
of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Their speech was essen- 
tially the same. They had the same social and domestic 
customs, and the same religion. Further, during the time 
when Christianity was spreading over Germany and Scandina- 
via, that exodus of the Norsemen was likewise taking place 
which ended in the colonization of Iceland — or Snowland, as 
it was also named by its discoverers in the middle of the ninth 
century. There, **on the verge," as Dr. Dasent says, "of 
the polar circle," the Vikings established their little indepen- 
dent principalities or republics; unmcddlcd with by Christian 



priests, and disdaining the continental kings who were aping 
the customs of the new times, the Icelandic Norsemen pre- 
served, for five centuries more, the pure faith of their fore- 

Lastly there appears to have been less antagonism, less 
friction, between the two rival religions — Odinism and Chris- 
tianity — in Iceland than in other countries. Its Christian 
priests would seem to have felt the loyalty of children towards 
their old faith, then dying away. Hence, in a measure, the 
complete and systematic form in which the Icelanders were 
able to leave a permanent record of their mythology. It was 
a Christian priest — Sigmund Sigfusson — who, in the middle 
of the eleventh century, composed the compilation of mythi- 
cal poems known as the elder Edda. To the succeeding 
century belongs the younger Edda, which is merely a prose 
rendering of those portions of the first work which narrate the 
creation of the world and man, and the generation, adventures, 
functions, and ultimate fate of the gods. As a cosmogony 
and theogony this Edda, or, as the word might be para- 
phrased, ''Tales of a Grandmother," is as complete even as 
its Greek prototype, the Theogony of Hesiod. And as a re- 
cord and expression of the spiritual life of those Teutons, who 
also were the progenitors of our English race, it is, or surely 
ought to be, incomparably more interesting. 


In the prose Edda, Ginki, the wise king, travels in search of 
knowledge to the home of the Asa folk — the Norse gods — 
each of whom supplies the visitor with some piece of special 
information. The cosmogonic history thus patched up between 


them closely corresponds in main points with that contained in 
the Hesiodic poem; while its special details, tone, and colour- 
ing are the expression of special climatic conditions. Where 
the earth now is there was in the beginning, says the Edda, no 
sand, sea, or grass, but only an empty space (Ginnunga-gap), 
on whose north side lay the region of mist, ice, and snow, 
(Niflheim) and 'on its south side the region of warmth and 
sunlight, (Muspelheim). The warm breaths from the sun-land 
caused the ice to melt, and topple over into Ginnunga-gap ; 
and from the matter so accumulated sprang the huge Ymir, an- 
cestor of the Reimthursen, Rime, or Frost, — giants. Ymir 
fed on the milk of the cow Audhumbla, whose name, it may 
be observed, in the Zendavesta, stands indifferently for 
** cow" or mother-earth. The cow herself lived by licking 
the ice-blocks ; from which, in consequence of the licking, 
was produced Bori, who is alike the fashioner of the world, 
and the father of Bor, who was the father of Odin. Odin's 
brothers were Wili and We : and just as in Hesiod the deities 
Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades supplant Kronos, so the sons of 
Bori overthrow and succeed the primitive dynasty of Ymir 
and the Frost Gtants. Also, the dead Ymir is turned to ac- 
count similarly with the dead Kronos. His flesh becomes 
earth; his blood, the sea; his bones, the mountains; his 
teeth, cliffs and crags; his skull, the heavens, wherein his 
brains float in the form of clouds. The heavens, are sup- 
ported by four Dwarves — Austri (east), Westri (west) Nordri 
(north), and Sudri (south) ; and the stars in it are the sparks 
from the fire-land of Muspelheim. The new world thus 
fashioned was called Midgard, as being placed midway be- 
tween the lands of frost and fire. To preserve it and its in- 
habitants from the giants, who dwelt in Jotunheim, Odin and 


his brother surrounded it with a fence made from the eye- 
brows of Ymir. The inhabitants themselves were said to have 
been produced from two pieces of wood which the brothers 
found floating on the sea, and changed into a man, whom 
they named Ash, and a woman, whom they named Ernbla. 

From this middle world, or Midgard, arose the Norse 
Olympos, or Asgard, whereon dwelt the Asa folk — Odinjnd 
the twelve Aesir. It contained two mansions — Gladsheim for 
the gods, and Vingolf for the goddesses. There also was 
Walhalla, wherein Odin placed one-half of the heroes slain 
in battle, the other half being received by Freija, the wife of 
Odin. Besides those already named there were, as the Edda 
says, other homesteads, such as Elfheim, where the elves 
dwelt ; Breidablick, where dwelt the bright and beautiful, far- 
seeing Baldur; Himinbiorg, or the Heaven-tower of the 
thunder-god Thor; and Valaskialf, whence Odin could watch 
all gods and men. The gods also met in daily council beneath 
the branches of the tree Yggdrasil, one of whose roots grew 
in Asgard, the second in Niflheim, and the third in the realm 
of Hela, or Death : and their way thither lay over the bright 
Asa-bridge, or Bifraust, or Rainbow, which was said to burn 
all a-fire, so as to keep away the Frost giants of Jotunheim. 
Lastly, the 


was ruled by the goddess Hel ; and to it were consigned those 
who had not died in battle. It was so far away that Odin's 
swift horse Sleipnir took nine nights to reach it. The river 
GioU — the Norse Styx — surrounded this lower world on every 
side. Nastrand was the name of the worst spot in the Norse 
hell. Its roofs and doors were wattled with hissing snakes. 




ejecting poison, through which perjurers and murderers were 
forced to wade by way of punishment. 


"Whose thrones were in Gladsheim, were twelve in number. 
Their names were — Thor, Baldr, Freyr, Tyr, Bragi, Hudr, 
Heimdall, Vithar, Valij Ullr, Ve, Forseti. Thus, with Odin, 
the "All-father," whose throne rose above the other twelve, 
the great gods of the Norse Pantheon were thirteen in number. 


(plate XXXV.) 

The physical origin of the idea of Odin is evident, first, 
from the meaning of his name, and, secondly, from the various 
attributes assigned to him. The word Odin is simply another 
form of V/oden, or Wuotan, which Grimm connects with the 
Latin vadei-c. He is thus the moving, life-giving breath or air 
of heaven; and as such corresponds to the Hindoo Brahmin 
=rAtman (German, Athem), or ever-present life and energy. 
His Greek correlative is, of course, Zeus, who is likewise 
spoken of as All-father. The name Zeus is derived from a 
root signifying "to shine," and thus the King of the Greek 
Asgard was originally "the glistening ether." It was but 
natural that Odin, as the personification of the blue sky, 
should rule the rain-clouds and the sunlight ; hence as Odin 
the rain-giver he corresponds with Zeus Ombrios (the showery 
Zeus), while as the light-god he is merely a Norse Phoebos 
or Apollo, whose spear — the sun rays — disperses the darkness. 
As sky-gpd, and god of the moving air, he was, no less natu- 


rally or inevitably, invoked as the protector of sailors. In 
this respect he corresponds or is interchangeable with Thor. 
But this interchange, or overlapping, of functions is as distinc- 
tive of Norse as of Greek mythology. Finally, Zeus and 
Odin resemble each other in their development from purely 
physical into spiritual beings. Odin, the ever-present ether, 
becomes the ever-present and ever-knowing spirit, the Father 
of all. And as Zeus is the father of the Muses, so Odin is the 
father of Saga, the goddess of poetry. The two ravens that 
sat on the shoulders of Odin, and every morning brought him 
news of what was passing in the world, were called Hunin 
and Munin — Thought and Memory. Memory, or Mnemosyne, 
was the mother of the Greek Muses. A trace of the worship 
of Odin survives even to the present day. In one of the 
Orkney islands is an Odin stone, in a hollow of which super- 
stitious people thrust their hands, by way of testifying on their 
most solemn oath. The island of Heligoland is said to have 
derived its name from Odin, who was also named Helgi {^der 
Heilige), or the Holy. ^'Charles's Wain," as we now call it, 
was named Odin's Wain ; and the *' Milky Way' ' was also known 
as Odin's Way. Unlike Zeus — the Greek All-father — Odin 
was also a god of war. Hence it was that, as already ob- 
served, he received into Walhalla one-half of the heroes slain 
in battle. 

The two goddesses Frigg and Freija, who were at different 
times believed to be each the wife of Odin, appear to be the 
one simply a development of the other. Of all the goddesses, 
Frigg was the best and dearest to Odin. She sat enthroned 
beside him, and surveyed the world. She knew all, and 
exercised control over the whole face of nature. In Plate 
XXXVI. she is represented seated with the golden spindle by 





rr ^y^ 


- > 




THOR. 315 

her side, with which she used to spin. She is attended by 
her handmaitlcn /'//// or Fulla. Freija was also a goddess 
who {)rcsi(letl over smiling nature, sending sunshine, rain, and 
harvest. She was further a goddess into whose charge the 
dead passed. \s> has been said, half the number of heroes 
who fell in battle belonged to her. She is represented in 
Plate XXXVII. driving in a cart drawn by two cats. 

In Plate XXXV. Odin is figured seated on his throne, and 
attended by the ravens, Hunin and Munin, and the two 


(plate XXXVIII.,) 

Or Donar, simply meant the Thunderer — dcr Donncrer ; and 
he dwelt in the vault of heaven. As he was likewise said to 
be the son of Odin, or of Heaven, it is evident that, as in 
the case of the All-father, he had a purely physical origin. 
As the god of thunder and lightning Thor resembles Zeus; 
and as the thunderbolts of Zeus were forged by the smith-god 
Hephaestos, who dwelt below ground, so the hammer of Odin 
was smithied by the Dwarves {zwcrge), or black elves, who 
dwelt within the earth. Thor is represented driving through 
the clouds in a car drawn by two goats. Among the pagan 
Norsemen, Thor's hammer was held in as much reverence as 
Christ's cross among Christians. It was carved on their 
grave-stones ; and, wrought of wood, or of iron, it was sus- 
pended in their temples. Thor, under the symbol of the 
hammer, was invoked as the deity who made marriages fruit- 
ful. He was also the god of the hearth and of fire. 

As a' sky-god Thor is identical with Odin much in the 


same way as Vishnu is with Indra. While the other Asa folk 
ride to their trysting-place, Thor goes on foot : he is the 
striding god, as Vishnu is, who traverses heaven in three 
steps. Thor is perhaps identical with the Gallic god Taranis, 
whose name resembles in sound the Scottish Celtic word for 
thunder. Thor has also been identified with the Slavonic 
god Perkunes, or Perune, whose name, according to a^well- 
known law of phonetic change, is thought to be connected 
with the Greek word for thunder — Keraunos. 

In Plate XXXVIII. Thor is represented driving in his car 
drawn by two goats, with his hammer raised to strike. 


Means the shining god. His son Brono means daylight, in 
the Anglo-Saxon theogony. His home is called Breidablick 
— the far or wide-shining ; and the name evidently conveys 
an idea similar to that suggested by such Greek words as 
Euryphassa, Eurynome, and Eurydike. The story of Baldr 
— the most lovely and pathetic not only in Norse but in any 
mythology — leaves no doubt whatever as to its physical origin 
and significance. The joy of the world in the presence of 
Baldr means only the gladness inspired by sunlight. The 
solemn oath sworn by all living things not to hurt the bright 
god, and their speechless dismay at his death, only mean the 
gloom of the northern climes during the winter months, 
when, in the purely concrete language of the primitive race, 
Baldr, or the sun, was dead. 

The myth says that only the mistletoe had not sworn not' 
to hurt Baldr; that Loki discovered the fact, and then 
directed Hodr — the blind god of the winter months — to 
shoot him with a twig of it. This mistlctoc-bough is another 




FREYR. 317 

form of the thorn with which Odin puts to sleep the spring 
maiden Brynhild ; of the thorn of the Persian Isfeudyar ; or 
of the boar's tusk wliieh kills the bright, spring-like Adonis. 
Loki, it was said, fled from the wrath of the gods, changed 
himself into a salmon, was then caught by them in a net, and 
bound fast until the twilight of the gods — or, in Christian 
terminology, until the judgment-day. The unlucky Hodr 
"WDs killed by Odin's son, Bali, whose home was among the 
willows and in the dry grass. 


(plate XXXIX.,) 

Is likewise named Fro. The functions ascribed to him are 
another instance of that interchange or overlapping to which 
we have referred above, and which seems to be accounted for 
by the hypothesis that whole groups of mythical beings are in 
reality but personified epithets of one and the same thing. 
Thus Freyr, as the cause of fruitfulness, is merely the sun-lit 
and air-breathing heaven as represented by Odin. Like Odin 
he is the patron of seafarers. Not only is Freyr repeated, so 
to speak, in Odin, but also — or if not the god himself, then 
his servant, Skirnir — in the Volsung and Niblung heroes, 
Sigurd, Sigmund, and Gunnar. And as Sigurd can win the 
maiden Brynhild only by riding through the flaming fire 
which surrounded and guarded her dwelling, so by the same 
exploit must Skirnir win Gerda for the master. In later times, 
when the old religion had giten way before Christianity, and 
its myths were being explained on the Euhemerist method, it 
was alleged that Freyr had only been a Swedish king, whose 
sorrowing subjects buried his body in a magnificent tomb, to 


which, for three whole years, they continued to bring their 
presents, as if Freyr were alive. 

This Euhemerism is, however, inconsistent with the most 
authoritative source of all — the Eddas. In Dasent's ''Prose 
Edda" Freyr is described as the god of rain, sunshine, and 
fruits — as Odin, in fact, in another shape. His wife was Gredr, 
whose beauty — as he saw her leaving her father's house,-and 
shedding a lustre over air and sea — captivated the god, and 
allowed him no rest till he won her. 

In Plate XXXIX. Freyr is represented riding on a wild boar 
through the air, at a speed greater than that of the swiftest 
horse. Sometimes he was drawn by it in a car. In crossing 
the sea he also used a boat. 


Is likewise named Ziu, and Saxnot. Our word Tuesday is a 
memorial of his name. Once more, this god seems to be an 
instance of personifying an epithet. Ziu is identical with the 
root — meaning "shine" — of the Sanscrit Dynaus, the Greek 
Zeus, and the Latin jDeus. Tyr, therefore, is another glisten- 
ing god. He is pre-eminently the god of war and of athletic 
sports. *' On him it is good for wrestlers to call." Tyr had 
only one hand, the other having been bitten off by the wolf 
Fenris, into whose mouth the god had placed it as a pledge 
of security, when the wolf allowed himself to be bound in the 
net that shall hold him fast till the judgment-day., 


Is the god of poetry and eloquence. *' He is famous for wisdom, 


and best in tongue-wit and cunning speech." A sort of coun- 
terpart of this god was his wife Iduna, wlio dwelt in the under 
world. She ii> spoken of in terms that recall the Hindoo de- 
scription of Ushas — Eos — or the Daure goddess. For as 
Ushas — the Dawn — makes the world young every new morn- 
ing, so Iduna is said to preserve in a box the golden apples 
which the gods ate, and so made themselves young again. 


Was the watchman of the bridge Bifrost, leading to the un- 
derworld. The sound of Heimdall's horn is heard over the 
world, and shall be the signal for the great battle between the 
gods on the day of their ending, or twilight. The name of 
his horse, Gulltopr (Goldropf, or golden mare), connects hira 
with the sun-gods and sun-horses of classical mythology. 
Heimdall was so sharp a watchman that he could even hear the 
grass grow on the earth, and the wool on the backs of sheep ! 

Vithar was next in strength to Thor. As the " twilight," 
or Gottcrdammc'rung, Vithar shall destroy the wolf Fenris, 
the devourer of the gods, by placing one foot on the monster's 
lower jaw, and pushing up the upper one — thus wrenching 
them asunder. Ulle is the god of the chase ; a skilful bow- 
man, and a fast runner on stilts. Like Bragi and Iduna, 
Mimir is the deity of wisdom and knowledge. He dwelt 
by the ash-tree, Yggdrasil, beneath whose roots bubbled forth 
the well of wisdom, Mimir's well, from whose waters Mimir 
drank his daily draught. 

Loki dwelt in the land of the dead. He was the son of 
the giant Farbanti, whose duty it was to ferry the dead over 
the waters of the lower world. Loki had three children as 


cruel and hateful as he himself was full of mischief. One was 
the huge wolf Fenris (Plate XL.), who, at the last day, 
shall hurry gaping to the scene of battle, with his lower jaw 
scraping the earth and his nose scraping the sky ! The second 
was the serpent of Midgard — the serpent which Odin threw 
into the sea, where the monster grew to such length that it 
embraced the whole world in its folds. The third was the 
goddess Hel, who was half black and half blue, and lived 
daintily on the brains and marrow of men. 

Hel is, in fact, that dreadful Hindoo goddess Kali, who, 
in these modern days, has degenerated into a Doorga of quite 
a pathetic and interesting character. Loki was at the bottom 
of all the mischief that ever happened in the society of the 
gods. The character of this god, and his close relationship 
with a personage who figures conspicuously in modern the- 
ology, are pretty well indicated in the following adage, with 
its equivalents in German and English : Loki er or bondum 
— der Teufel ist frei gelassen — the devil is loose. 

Of the almost countless beings who figure in Norse my- 
thology we must say but very little. Like the great gods, 
they appear to be representative of the good and evil powers 
of nature. Among them are the Elves (Alfen, Elfen,) who 
live in Alfheimr (Elf-home). Their king is the Erlkonig 
(Elfen Konig). In the night hours they come in troops to 
dance in the grass, leaving, according to popular belief, their 
traces in the form of fairy-rings. The dwarves (Zwerge), 
whose father is named Ivaldr, dwell in the heart of the hills. 
To them belong precious stones and metals, on which they 
prove their skill in workmanship. As guardians of hidden 
treasures they were propitiated by the seekers of the same 
with a black goat or a black cock. An echo is called by the 

X I 

The Woil Fenris. 


Icelander.. Dwcrgm.uil-Zwcrgsprache — or (hvarl-voicc. 1 iic 
evil beings who stole the light every evening, and the summtr 
every year, were called giants. Such were the Reifriesen 
(Hrinithiirsen) who brought the winter. The giant Hrungnir 
had a head of stone, and a heart of stone; and a giantcro, 
mother of Gmir, as many as nine hundred heads. Another 
giant was Thiassi, who slew Thor and cast his eyes up to 
heaven, where they shone thereafter as stars. In the extrem.c 
north dwelt the giant Hrcsvelgr, the motion of whose wir.g.i 
caused wind and tempest, in which respect he resembles the 
gigantic bird of the Buddhist play, Nnganafufa, who raises 
the waves on the sea by the flapping of his wings. On the 
extreme south was Surtr, whose flaming sword guarded the 
bounds of Muspelhcim. Besides these there were the Troll- 
weiber (troll arvis), phantoms from the land of the dead, who 
in the dark nights rode to the earth on a wolf bridled with 
snakes. The three Nornen were the Norse Fates. The Valky- 
rien were fair maidens who hovered over the field of battle, 
woke up the dead heroes with a kiss, and led away their souls 
to fight and drink ale as of old in the hapi)y Valhalla. 


Tre Vt)lsunga Saga and Nibelungcnlied hardly difier in any- 
thing but the name. The one is merely the Norse, the other 
the German, form of one and the same nature myth, or epic. 
According to the "Solar myth" theorists, this epic sers'es 
the common purpose of all Aryan nations; in India being 
known under the names of Ramayana and Mahabharata; in 
Greece as the Iliad and the Odyssey; in our more northern 
lands as the Tale of the Volsungs, and the Nibelungen Lay ; 


and in England as the tale of King Arthur and his KLnights 
of the Round Table. Whatever objections may be urged 
against the "Solar myths" explanation of these stories, it is 
quite indisputable that the main incidents in all of them com- 
pletely coincide. Indeed it is not too much to aftirm that 
fully to appreciate the spirit of any one of these great epics 
of the world, the student must possess some acquaintanceAvith 
its co-ordinate ones. But not only do the main incidents in 
the Northern Epics coincide with those in the Iliad and 
Odyssey, but they even contain episodes which correspond in 
everything except the name with plots in Greek tragedy. 
Gudrun, for example, is only a Norse Medea. We now pro- 
ceed to give a slight sketch of the Volsunga Saga. 

Volsung was the son of Rerir, the son of the Sigi, the son 
of Odin. Volsung lay for seven years in his mother's womb; 
and they said the youngling kissed his mother or ever she 
died. Volsung had a daughter called Signy, who was married 
to Siggeir, King of Gothland. During the marriage festivities 
in Volsung' s house, and as the good folk sat round the evening 
fire, there entered an old man wrapped in a cloak, who drove 
a sword into a log of wood right up to the hilt, predicted 
great things of the hero who should be able to draw it out 
again, and immediately disappeared. Tlie old man was Odin ; 
and the sword was the sword of Gram, wliich has its counter- 
part in the sword of Chrysaor, in Roland's Durandal, and in 
King Arthur's Excalibur. And as only Theseus could lift the 
huge stone, and none but Ulysses could draw his own bow, so 
among the assembled heroes only Sigmund the son of Volsung 
could pull out Gram. 

Volsung was afterwards murdered in the land of Siggeir; 
wherefore Sigmund avenged the death of his father by killing 


the children of his brother-in-law, Siggeir. After that he 
returned to his own Kind, and married Borghiid, by whom he 
had two children, Helgi and Hamund. But Sigmund was no 
more constant in his loves than other heroes of whom we read 
in classical literature. He fell in love with Hjordis, who was 
beloved by the son of King Hunding. Iktween the two 
lierocs there ensued a figlit, during wliich the one-eyed man 
in a blue cloak, and a bill in his hand, appeared: whereupon 
Sigmund was slain. The dying Sigmund comforted his wife 
Hjordis, and entrusted to her charge his sword Gram, wishing 
her to j)reserve it for tlieir unborn boy. "And now," said 
he, **I grow weary with my wounds, and I will go to see our 
kin that have gone before me." So HjordLs sat over him till 
he died at the day dawning. 

Hjordis after that married Hialprck, King of Denmark, a 
character who corresponds to the Grecian Laios and Akrisios. 
At Hiali)rek's court was born Sigurd, the son of Hjordis and 
Sigmund — the favourite hero of Norse mythology. Sigurd was 
taught in all the arts and sciences by Regin, the cunning black- 
smith, who was also the brother of the otter killed by Odin, 
and the serpent — or worm — Fafnir, who guarded those golden 
treasures whi< h, according to the Solar theory, mean the glad- 
dening and revivifying sunlight, Fafnir himself being the evil 
power, the cloud, or the darkness which steals the light. 
Regin wished to secure the treasure for himself, and forged a 
sword for Sigurd to slay the worm with. But it shivered into 
pieces on its very first trial; and Sigurd, in contempt at 
Regin's smithing, procures the fragments of his paternal sword 
Gram, and Regin welds them together. Gram stood every 
test. Sigurd drove it, right to the hilt, into Rcgin's anvil; 
and after that, a lock of wool, borne on the surface of the 


Stream, divided into two against the motionless edge. Sigurd 
slew Fafnir, and procured the treasure ; and next he slew 
Regin, who wished to possess the whole of the prize on the 
plea that his forging of the weapon had really won the victory. 
After that Sigurd went to free the Valkyrie Brynhild, accord- 
ing to the Solar myth the Maiden of Spring, for whom the 
cold earth is longing. Brynhild lay in the sleep into whK:h 
she had been thrown by the thorn of Odin — that is, by the 
thorn, or cold, or frost of winter. 

Sigurd, like his mythical relatives in Norse and Greek stories, 
was unfaithful in his loves. He fell in love with Gudrun, the 
sister of Gunnar, and that, too, in spite of those love scenes 
and speeches of his with Brynhild, for the beauty of which the 
Volsung Saga is perhaps unequalled by any other epic story 
whatever. Brynhild had sworn to marry only the man who 
could ride through the fire which surrounded her dwelling. 
This Gunnar could not do; but Sigurd did it in Gunnar's 
shape, whereafter Brynhild agreed to marry Gunnar. But 
Gudrun, in her triumph, revealed the secret ; and just as 
(Enone procured the death of the unfaithful Paris, and Deia- 
neira that of the fickle Herakles, so Brynhild compassed the 
death of Sigurd. Brynhild also, like another Deianeira, dies, 
in grief, on the funeral pile of her husband. Next, Gudrun, 
also grieving for Sigurd, leaves her home ; but she marries 
Atli, King of Hunland. It would seem that this Atli must be 
another name for the powers of darkness, for he invited his 
wife's brothers to his court, in order that he might seize the 
golden treasure, "the sunlight," which they had received 
from the dead Sigurd. These treasures the brothers buried in 
the Rhine river, and went on their way to Hunland, though 
they well knew they were destined never to return. The 


scene in which the brothers are slain by the treacherous Atli 
is unsurpassed for power and terror by any fighting story, ex- 
cept, perhaps, by that one in the Mahabharata which describes 
the final struggle on the battle-field of Hastinapur. Next 
follows Gudrun's revenge for the death of her brothers; like, 
as we have already said, a Norse Medea, she slew her own and 
Atli's children. 

But we cannot further pursue those final tragedies in which 
all the various kinsfolk die by each other's hands, and in 
obedience to that stern, inevitable fate which in these talcs 
seems to be personified in Odin, and looms so terribly in the 
background of the dramas of Sophocles and -^schylus. 

We would in conclusion recommend the student to read the 
translation of the Volsung Saga, recently published by Messrs. 
Morris and Magnusson, as also Dr. Dasent's translation of the 
prose Edda. Those who know German may also consult 
Wilhelm Mannhardt's Die Goiter der deutschcn und tiordischen 
Yolker, published in Berlin, i860. For an exhaustive expo- 
sition of the "Solar myth " theory, alike of the subjects em- 
braced in the foregoing sketch, and of Aryan myths in general, 
we recommend the student to the work of the Rev. George 
W. Cox on **The Mythology of the Aryan Nations." 


T N the Veda, the earliest record of the Sanscrit language, 

X many of the myths common to the Aryan nations are 

presented in their simplest form. Hence the special value of 

Hindoo myths in a study of Comparative Mythology. But it 

would be an error to suppose that the myths of the Greeks, 

Latins, Slavonians, Norsemen, old Germans, and Celts were 

derived from those of the Hindoos. For the myths, like the 

languages, of all these various races, the Hindoos included, 

are derived from one common source. Greek, Latin, Sanscrit, 

etc., are but modifications of a primitive Aryan language that 

was spoken by the early *^ Aryans" before they branched 

away from their original home, wherever that may have been, 

to form new nationalities in India, Greece, Northern Europe, 

Central Europe, etc. The Sanscrit language is thus not the 

mother, but the elder sister of Greek and the kindred tongues : 

and the Vedic mythology is, in like manner, only the elder 

sister of the other Aryan mythologies. It is by reason of the 

discovery of the common origin of these languages that 

scholars have been enabled to treat mythology scientifically. 

For example, many names unintelligible in Greek are at once 

explained by the meaning of their Sanscrit equivalents. 

Thus, the name of the chief Greek god, Zeus, conveys no 

meaning in itself. But the Greek sky-god Zeus evidently 


corresponds to the Hindoo sky-god Dyaus, and this word is 
derived from a root div or dyu, meaning '*lo shine." Zeus, 
then, meant originally *^ the glistening ether ;" and the Sans( rit 
devas, Greek theos, and Latin deus, meaning **god," are 
from the same root, and signify "shining" or "heavenly." 
Similarly other Grceek names are explained by their counter- 
parts, or cognate works in Sanscrit. Thus the name of Zeus's 
wife, Hera, belongs to a Sanscrit root svar, and originally 
meant the bright sky, the goddess herself being primarily the 
bright air; and Erins is explained by the Sanscrit Saranyu. 
In India there have been two dynasties, as it were, of gods — 
the Vedic and Brahmanic. The Vedic gods belong to the very 
earliest times, appear obviously as elemental powers, and are 
such as would have been worshipped by a simple, un instructed, 
agricultural people. The Brahmanic religion was, in great 
part at least, a refined development of the former; and was 
gradually displacing the simpler worship of Vedism many 
centuries before the birth of Christ. Five or six centuries 
before the last event, Dissent, under the name and form of 
Buddhism, became the chief religion of India; but in about 
ten centuries Brahmanism recovered its old position. Budd- 
hism now retains but comparatively few followers in India. 
Its chief holds are in Burmah, Siam, Japan, Thibet, Nepaul, 
China, and Mongolia: and its nominal followers at the pre- 
sent day, perhaps outnumber those of all other religions put 




Was, as we have already indicated, the god of the bright sky, 
his name being connected with that of Zeus through thejppt 
div or dyic. That the god-name and the sky-name were inter- 
changeable is evident from such classical expressions as that 
^' Zeus rains " (/. c, the sky rains). In such expressions there 
is hardly any mythological suggestion : and the meaning of 
the name Dyaus, — like those of the names Ouranos and Kronos 
in Greek, — always remained too transparent for it to become 
the nucleus of a myth. Dyaus, however, was occasionally 
spoken of as an overruling sj^irit. The epithet, Dyaus pitar, 
is simply Zeus pater — Zeus the father; or, as it is spelled in 
Latin, Jupiter. Another of his names, Janitar, is the San- 
scrit for gcnetor, a title of Zeus as the father or producer. 
Dyaus pitai', " father aky," and p'i//tus ma far, ''mother earth," 
are generally spoken of together. 


Is also a sky-god: but in later times he becomes god of the 
waters. The name is derived from the root va;', to cover, or 
envelop: and so far Varuna (accent Varuna) means the vault 
of heaven. Here, then, we seem to find a clue to the meaning 
of the Greek Ouranos, whom we already know to liave been a 
sky-god ; Ouranos means the coveror; but, as observed above, 
the name would have remained unintelligible apart from its 
reference to the Sanscrit name. The myth of Varuna is a 
wonderful instance of the readiness and completeness with 


whic:h tlic Hindoo genius spiritualized its sense-impressions. 
From the conception of the thousand-eyed (or starred) Varuna, 
who overlooked all men and things, the Indian Aryans passed 
to the loftier conception of Varuna as an all-seeing god or 
providence, whose spies, or angels, saw all that took place. 
Some of the finest passages in the Vedic hymns are those in 
which the all-seeing Varuna is addressed : as in the following 
verses, translated by Muller from the Rigvcda : — 

" Let me not yet, O Varuna, enter into the house of tlay ; liave mercy, 
Almighty, have mercy! 

'If I go along trembling like a cloud driven by the wind; have mercy, 
Almighty, have mercy 1 

"Through want of strength, though strong and bright god, have I gone to 
the wrong shore; have mercy, Almighty, have mercy ! 

" Thirst came upon the worshipper, tho' he stood in the midst of the waters ; 
have mercy, Almighty, have mercy! 

" Whenever we men, O Varuna, committed ofTcnce before the heavenly host, 
whenever we break tliy law through thoughtfulncss ; have mercy, Almighty, 
have mercy !" 


(plate XL I.) 

The connection, or identity, between Zeus and Dyaus seems 
to be chiefly limited to the names. There is greater resem- 
blance between Indra and Zeus than between Zeus and Dyaus. 
Indra, as the hurler of the thunderbolts, and as a *' cloud 
compeller," coincides with Zeus and Thor. 

The myth of Indra — the favourite Vedic god — is a further 
instance of that transition from the physical to spiritual mean- 
ing to which we have referred; though Indra is by no means 
so spiritual a being as Varuna. It is also a good instance of 
the fact that, as the comparative mythologists express it, the 


further back the myths are traced the more ^' atmospheric " do 
the gods become. First, of the merely physical Indra. Indra 
shatters the cloud with his bolt, and releases the imprisoned 
waters. His purely physical origin is further indicated by the 
mythical expression that the clouds moved in Indra as the 
winds in Dyaus— an expression implying that Indra was a 
name for the sky. Also, the stories told of him correspond 
closely with some in classical mythology. Like Hermes and 
Herakles, he is endowed with precocious strength ; like Her- 
mes he goes in search of the cattle, the clouds which the evil 
powers have driven away; and like Hermes he is assisted by 
the breezes — though in the Hindoo myth by the storm-winds, 
rather— the Maruts. His beard of lightning is the red beard 
of Thor. In a land with the climatic conditions of India, -and 
among an agricultural people, it was but natural that the god 
whose fertilizing showers brought the corn and wine to matu- 
rity should be regarded as the greatest of all. 

" He who as soon as bom is the first of the deities, who has done honour to 
the gods by his exploits; heat whose might heaven and earth are alarmed, 
and who is known by the greatness of his strength ; he, men, is Indra. 

" He who fixed firm the moving earth ; who tranquillized the incensed 
mountains ; who spread the spacious firmament ; who consolidated the 
heavens; he, men, is Indra. 

" He who, having destroyed Ahi, set free the seven rivers: who recovered 
the cows detained by Bal ; who generated fire in the clouds ; who is invinci- 
ble in battle : he, men, is Indra. 

" He under whose control are horses and cattle, and villages, and all 
chariots ; who gave birth to the sun and to the dawn ; and who is the leader 
of the waters : he, men, is Indra. 

" He to whom heaven and earth bow down ; he at whose might the moun- 
tains are appalled ; he who is the drinker of the Soma juice, the firm of frame, 
the adamant-armed, the wieldcr of the thunderbolt: he men, is Indra. 

" May we envelop thee with acceptable praises as husbands are embraced 
by their wives!" 


The first verso in the proc eding hymn from the Rigveda 
])crha])s refers to Indra as a sun-god, and to the rapidity with 
which, in tropical climates, the newly-born sun grows in 
heat-giving i)owers. The Ahi, or throttling snake, of the 
third verse, is the same as the Greek Echidna, or the Hindo:) 
Vritra; and is multiplied in the Rakshasas — or powers of 
darkness — against which the sky-god Indra wages deadly war. 
He is likewise spoken of in the same hymn in much the same 
kind of language that would naturally be applied to the 
creator and sustainer of the world. But so is almost every 
Hindoo deity. Absolute supremacy was attributed to each 
and every god, whenever it came to his turn to be praised or 


Corresponds to the Greek Helios. That is, he was not so 
much the god of light as the special god who dwelt in the 
body of the sun. The same distinction exists between Posei- 
don and Nereus ; the one being the god of all waters, and 
even a visitor at Olympos, the other a dweller in the sea. 
Surya is described as the husband of the dawn, and also as her 



Is another personification of the sun. His name means the 
" Inciter or enlivener," and is derived from the root su, to 
drive or stimulate. As the sun-god he is spoken of as the 
golden -eyed, golden-tongued, and golden-handed ; and the 
Hindoo commentators, in their absurd attempts to give a 
literal prosaic explanation of a highly appropriate poetic 
epithet, ?ay that Savitar cut off his hand at a sacrifice, and 
that the priests gave him a golden one instead. Savitar thus 


corresponds to the Teutonic god Tyr, whose hand was cut 
off by the wolf Fenris, Like other gods in the Hindoo and 
Norse mythologies, Savitar is regarded as all-powerful. That 
Savitar is a sun-god appears from the following passages, 
among many others, from the Rigveda: — 

" Shining forth he rises from the lap of the dawn, praised by singers ; he, 
he, my god Savitar, stepped forth, who never misses the same place. 

" He steps forth, the splendour of the sky, the wide-seeing, the far-shining, 
the shining wanderer ; surely enlivened by the sun do men go to tlicir tasks, 
and do their work. 

" May the golden-eyed Savitar arise hither ! 

*' May the golden-handed, life-bestowing, well guarding, exhilarating, and 
affluent Savitar be present at the sacrifice !" 

The second passage seems to identify Savitar with Odin, 
who was also '' the wanderer" — Wc^tom, and who was one- 
eyed, as Savitar was one-handed. 


In some respects the myth of Soma is the most curious of 
all. Soma, as the intoxicating juice of the Soma plant, cor- 
responds to that mixture of honey and blood of the Quoasir, 
which, in the Norse mythology, imjjarts jjrolongcd life to the 
gods. In the Rigveda the Soma is similarly described; as 
also the process by which it is converted into intoxicating 
liquid. I3iit in the same hymns Soma is also described as an 
all-powerful god. It is he who gives strength to Indra, and 
enables him to conquer his enemy Vritra, the snake of dark- 
ness. He is further, like Vishnu, Indra, and Varuna, the 
supporter of heaven and earth, and of gods and men ; thus it 
would seem as if the myth of the god Soma is but an instance 
of that fetishistic stage in the history of the human kind 
during which men attributed conscious life and energy to 


whatever hurt or benefited them. The following passages from 
the Rigvcda are adduced to show in what terms Soma was 
spoken of as a god, and as a mere plant : — 

"Where there is eternal hght, in the world where the sun is placed, in that 
immortal, imperishable world, place me, O Soma . . . 

""WHiere life is free, in the third heaven of heavens, where the worlds are 
radiant, there make me immortal." 

And again, — 

" In the filter, which is the support of the world, thou, pure Soma, art puri- 
fied for the gods. The Usijas first gathered thee. In thee all these worlds are 

"The Soma flowed into the vessel for Indra, for Vishnu; may it be 
honeyed for VSyu!" 


Is the god of fire, his name evidently being connected with 
the Latin ignis. He corresponds to the Greek Hcphcestos. 
Of this god Mr. Wheeler, in his introduction to his History 
of India, thus writes: "To man in a primitive state of ex- 
istence the presence of fire excites feelings of reverence. Its 
powers raise it to the rank of a deity whose operations are felt 
and seen. It burns and it consumes. It dispels the darkness, 
and with it drives away, not only the imaginary horrors which 
the mind associates with darkness, but also the real horrors — 
such as beasts of prey. ... It becomes identified with the 
light of the sun and moon ; with the lightning which shoots 
from the sky and shatters the loftiest trees and strikes down 
the strong man ; with the deity who covers the field with 
grain and ripens the harvest ; with the divine messenger who 
licks up the sacrifice and carries it to the gods." 

As another curious instance of the sort of fetishism to which 
we have referred, the Veda describes Agni as being gene- 


rated from the rnl)l)inp^ of stirks, after which he l)ursts forth 
from the wood like a licet (oiirser. A^;ain, wiieii ex( ited hy the 
wind lu: rushes aiiH)iij',st tlie trees like a. hull, and < oiisiiines 
the forest as a raja destroys his eiieniies. Sik Ii exi>ressi(jns 
of course pr(jve the |)urely ])hysi(al origin of ihe y^od Af^ni ; 
and it is hardly iier cssary to observe llial, like India, Varinia, 
Soma, Vishnu, etc., he is an all-povverriil god, and suj)porter 
of the universe. 


Ts the god of the winds, or of tlic air. Allied to him arc the 

•Maruts, — the storm gods, or "(rushers," whose name lias 
])een derived from ;i root meaning to grind, and regarded as 
connected with su( h names as Mars and Ares, ''rhe same 
root appears in Miolnir, an e|)illiet of Thor, (onceived as the 
crashing or (rushing g(jd. The Mariits are the I! indoo coun- 
terparts of the Norse Ogres— llie fier( e ^.torm beings who tcjss 
the sea into foam, and who, in the Norse 'Jales, are repre- 
sented as heing armed with iron ( Itihs, at every str(;ke of 
vvhi( h they send tlu- eaith Hying so many yards into the air. 
The primary meaning of the name is clear from the Vedic 
passages whi( h describe tin.- Maruts as roaring among the 
forest trees, and tearing up the ( loiids for rain. 

Among all the i)ersonifications of Hindoo mythology, one 
of the purest and most touching and beautiful is 


Whose name is the same as the Greek Eos — or the Dawn. The 
name Ushas is derived from a root wj, to burn. The language 
in which the ])hysical Ushas was S])okcn of was espe( ially 


capable of easy transformation into a purely spiritual meaning. 
The dawn-iight is beautiful to all men, barbarous or civilized; 
and it did not require any great stretch of poetic fancy to 
represent Ushas as a young wife awakening her children, and 
giving them new strength for the toils of the new day. It 
happens that the word which in Sanscrit means " to 
awake," also means **to know;" and thus, like the Greek 
Athene, Ushas became a goddess of wisdom. The following 
passages show how Ushas was regarded by the Vedic wor- 
shippers : — 

"Ushas, daughter of heaven, dawn upon us with riches; diffuser of h'ght, 
dawn upon us with abundant food ; beautiful goddess, dawn upon us with 
wealth of cattle. 

"This auspicious Ushas has harnessed her vehicles from afar, above the 
rising of the sun, and she comes gloriously upon men with a hundred chariots. 

" First of all the world is she awake, trampling over transitory darkness ; the 
mighty, the giver of light, from on high she beholds all things; ever youthful, 
ever reviving, she comes first to the invocation." 

Had we space for discussion of so interesting a subject, it 
would be easy to show how naturally monotheistic conception 
would grow out of the polytheism of the Vedic religion. 
Meantime we content ourselves with the following monotheis- 
tic hymn, translated by Dr. Max Muller : — 

" In the beginning there rose the source of golden light. He was the only 
lord of all that is ; he established this earth and this sky : who is the god to 
whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

" He who gives life, he who gives strength; whose blessings all the bright 
gods desire; whose shadow is immortality; whose shadow is death: who is 
the god to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

" He who through his power is the only king of all the breathing and awak- 
ening world. He who governs all, men and beasts: who is the god to whom 
we shall offer our sacrifice? 

" He whose power these snowy mountains, whose power the sea proclaims, 


with the distant river. He whose these regions are as it were his two arms: 
who is the god to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

" He through whom the sky is bright and the earth firm. He through whom 
the heaven was established — nay, the highest heaven ; he who measured out 
the light in the air : who is the god to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

He to whom heaven and earth, standing firm by his will, look up, trembling 
inwardly; he over whom the rising sun shines forth; who is the god to whom 
we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

" May he not destroy us, he the creator of the earth ; or he the righteous, 
who created heaven ; he who also created the bright and mighty waters : who 
is the god to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? " 


Of the later Hindoo religion the chief deities are Brahma, 
Vishnu, and Siva — forming the Hindoo Trinity, or Trimurti. 
These are not regarded as separate, independent gods, but 
merely as three manifestations or revelations or phases of the 
Spirit or energy of the supreme incomprehensible being 
Brahm. This trinity is a comparatively late formation. 
The trinity of the later Vedic writings is composed rather, 
of the representative gods of earth, air, and sky. Agni, 
Vayu, and Surya. Again, no such trinity as the Brahmanic, 
appears to be known in the Mahabharata, which represents 
Brahma, Vishnu, and Indra as being the sons of Mahadeva, 
or Siva. Perhaps, however, the reason of this is to be found 
in the mutual jealousy of the two great sects, Vaishnavas and 
Saivas, into which the Hindoo religion came to be divided. 
To Brahm as the self-existent — of whom there is no image — 
there existed neither temples nor altars. As signifying, 
among other things, the principle of divinity, the name 
Brahm is of the neuter gender, and the divine essence is de- 
scribed as that which illumines all, delights all, whence all 


Trimurti, or Hmduo I'nnity, 




proceeds, tliat of which all live when born, and that to which 
all must return. 



Is that member of the triad whose name is best known to 
ICnglishmen, and most familiar to the Hindoos themselves. 
Images of him are found in the temples of other gods, but he 
lias neither temples nor altars of his own. The reason of 
this is that Brahma, as the creative energy, is quiescent, and 
w ill remain so until the end of the present age of the world 
— of the Kali Yuga^ that is — only a small portion of whose 
432,000 years has already passed. 

It appears, however, that an attempt was made to represent 
even the divine spii it of Brahm : for the god Narayana means 
the spirit moving on the waters. Narayana is figured as a 
graceful youth lying on a snake couch which floats on the 
water, and holding his toe in his mouth. 

Brahma is figured as a four-headed god, bearing in one 
hand a coi)y of the Vedas, in another a spoon for pouring out 
the lustral water contained in a vessel which he holds in a 
third hand, while the fourth hand holds a rosary. The rosary 
was used by the Hindoos to aid them in contemplation, a 
bead being dropped on the silent pronunciation of each name 
of the god, while the devotee mused on the attribute signified 
by the name. 

Brahma, like each god, had his sacti, or wife, or female 
( ounterpart, and his vahana or vehicle, whereon he rode. 
Brahma's sactiy is Saraswati, the goddess of poetry, wis- 
dom, eloquence, and fine art. His vahana was the goose — 
/uifisa, ill Latin, anser, in German, ^ans. 



(plate xlii.) 

Is the personification of the preserving power of the divine 
spirit. The Vaishnavas allege that Vishnu is the paramount 
god, because there is nothing distinctive in the act oiLan- 
nihilation, but only a cessation of preservation. But of 
course the argument would cut all three ways, for it might as 
well be said that creation, preservation, and destruction are 
at bottom only one and the same thing — a fact thus pointing 
to the unity of God. Of the two Hindoo sects the Vaish- 
naivas are perhaps the more numerous. Vishnu is repre- 
sented as being of a blue colour ; his vahana is Garuda, the 
winged half-man, half-bird, king of birds, and his sacti, or 
wife, is the goddess Lakshmi. He is said to have four hands 
— one holding a shankha, or shell, the second a chakra or 
quoit, the third a club, and the fourth a lotus Plate XLII. 
represents Vishnu lying asleep on Ananta, the serpent of 
eternity. At the end of the Kali Yuga, Vishnu will rest in 
that position ; from his navel will spring a lotus stalk, on the 
top of which — above the surface of the waters, which at that 
time will cover the world — Brahma will appear to create the 
earth anew. 


(plate xliii.) 

Is the destroyer — the third phase of Brahm's energy. He is 
represented as of a white colour. His sacti is Bhavani or 
Pracriti, the terrible Doorga or Kali, and his vahana a white 












OCOCJO^OOO <" ^ --^ ■ ^/ c. o o ■:> ol 

Brahma with Saraswati. 

. JiV t 





bull. Sometimes Siva is figured with a trident in one hand, 
and in another a rope ox pasha ^ with which he, or his wife 
Kali, strangles evil-doers. His necklace is made of human 
skulls; serpents are his ear-rings; his loins are wra])]jcd in 
tiger's skin; and from his head the sacred river Ganga is re- 
presented as springing. 

Among the minor deities may be mentioned Kuvera, the 
god of riches; Lakshmi, being the goddess of wealth; Kama- 
deva, the god of love, who is represented (see Plate XLIII.) 
as riding on a dove, and armed with an arrow of flowers, and 
a bow whose string is formed of bees; and thirdly, Ganesha, 
the son of Siva and Prithivi, who is regarded as the wisest of 
all the gods, is especially the god of prudence and policy, and 
is invoked at the opening of Hindoo literary works. 


The word avatar means, in its plain sense, Descent — that is, 
from the world of the gods to the world of men. In these 
descents, or incarnations, the purpose of Vishnu has always 
been a beneficent one. His first avatar is named Matsya, 
wherein, during the reign of King Satyavrata, Vishnu appeared 
in the form of a fish. For the world had been deluged by 
water for its wickedness, and its inhabitants had perished, ex- 
cept the king and seven sages, with their families, who to- 
gether with pairs of all species of animals, entered into an ark 
prepared for them, and of which the fish took care, by having 
its cable tied to its horn. In the second, or Kurma avatar, 
Vishnu appeared in the form of a tortoise, supporting Mount 
Mandara on his back, while the t^ods churned the sea for the 
divine amljrosia. In the Varaha, or third avatar, Vishnu 


appeared as a boar to save the earth when it had been drowned 
a second time. The boar went into the sea and fished the 
earth out on his tusks. In the fourth he appeared as Nara- 
singha, the man-lion, to free the world from a monarch who, 
for his austerities, had been endowed by the gods with univer- 
sal dominion. In this shape Vishnu tore the king to pieces. 
Subsequently he appeared as a dwarf; then as Rama, the hero 
of the Ramayana, who likewise was a beneficent being. His 
chief incarnation appears in Krishna, the god who is most 
loved by the Hindoos. Buddha, the founder of the Buddhist 
religion, was also said to be an incarnation of Vishnu. Nine 
of these avatars have already passed. In the tenth, or Kalki 
Avatara, he will appear armed with a scimitar, and riding 
on a white horse, when he will end the present age ; after 
which he will sleep on the waters, produce Brama, and so in- 
augurate a new world. 


EGYPTIAN myths undoubtedly originated and were de- 
veloped similarly to the myths of all other nations with 
which we are acquainted. Yet an indication of the various 
stages of that development, and an understanding of the 
system as a whole, and as it is now known to us, are far more 
difficult in the case of Egyptian than of Greek, Norse, Ger- 
manic, or Hindoo mythology. The reason of this is very 
evident. The Egyptian religion seems to have reached its ab- 
stract or metaphysical stage long before any of the religions 
to which we have referred ; and as its records belong wholly 
to that stage, there are no means of enabling the student to 
bridge over the gap between its earliest and its latest forma- 

Indeed, it would appear as if precisely the same kind of 
diflercnce existed between the Egyptian and the Greek genius 
as between the Greek genius and that of the Hindoos. The 
temperament of the Greek was open, joyous, sensuous ; that 
of the other two races was self-repressive, brooding, and mys- 
tical. The bias or mental bent of these was not so much 
towards what was artistically or logically preventible, as 
towards the elusive, mysterious spirit of which they imagined 
all things visible and tangible to be merely the veil. The 



Greek was artistically sensuous j the Hindoo was mystically 
religious. Or, the difference between them may be said to 
resemble that between form and colour. The contrast in in- 
tellectual bias between the Egyptians and their adversaries, 
the Greeks, is sufficiently indicated in what Herodotus says 
of the Egyptian contempt for the claims made by the Greeks 
of descent from the gods. The priests of Egypt could tJnly 
laugh at the absurdity of the belief according to which a god 
was said to be the sixteenth ancestor of Hecataeos. Our 
gods, said they, never lived on earth. 

However, it appears as if a comparison of it with other 
systems shows that the mythology of Egypt is, in great mea- 
sure at least, explicable by the general doctrines implied in 
the title "Solar Myth." Even that very readiness with which 
the Greeks identified the Egyptian gods with their own af- 
fords, if not proof, at all events some countenance, to the 
supposition that both Pantheons were, so to speak, peopled 
after the same manner. Again, the functions and characters 
of the Egyptian gods interchange like those of the Greek and 
Norse gods. Their names have in both cases similar physical 
meanings. In both cases also the birth and genealogy of the 
gods appear to be but an expression of physical, visible se- 
quences. We find in both cases the same confusion, or 
identity, between a god's mother and his sister ; and what 
appears to be the same conflict between the light-giving and 
the light-stealing powers of nature. The old German religion 
is, perhaps, of a more spiritual character than that of Egypt. 
Yet there is no doubt that the idea of the contest between the 
purely spiritual powers Ormuzd and Ahriman was origmally 
only the idea of the contest between the sunlight, Indra, and 
the clouds or darkness, Vritra. This seems a strong indirect 

NEPH. — PTHAH. 343 

proof that Osiris and Typho are the same as Indra and Vritra. 
The idea of dynastic overthrow and succession common to 
the Aryan reh'^nons, and presented with such weird and pa- 
thetic grandeur in Norse mythology, is, if at all, but faintly 
defined in the religion of Egypt. Yet it seems to be implied 
in such phrases as ''Osirian divinities," and ''three orders 
of the gods." Lastly, it appears that many of the Egyptian 
deities are only personified attributes of one and the same 
thing or person. 

The eight great gods of Egypt were, Neph, Amun, 
Pthah, Khem, Sati, Maut, and Bubastis. 


Is also named Num, Nu, Nef, Cnouphis, and Cenubis. Now 
Nef means spirit or breath, in which sense it is still retained 
in Arabic. He is -'the spirit of God moving on the face of 
the waters." Therefore in this special, physical sense Neph 
corresponds to the Teutonic Woden, or Wuotan (see p. 313); 
as also Brahma and Zeus. Neph was worshipi^ed in Ethiopia 
and the Thebais. He is represented as having a ram's head 
with curved horns. His wife, or in Hindoo phraseology 
sactij was named Auka. 


Is only Neph under a new name; or, to express it otherwise, 
he represents a special energy of that god. He is the creator, 
or the universal life in action. Jamblichus calls him the 
dcmiourgos, or artisan of the world ; and the Greeks regarded 
him as the counterpart of their own artisan god, Hephaestos 
or Vulcan. As the creator he was thought of as the father 
and sovereign of the gods. He was worshipi)ed chiefly in 


Memphis. He appears as a mummy-shaped male figure ; also 
as the pigmy-god. 


Like the fonner god, is only a special en erg)' or activity of 
the universal life. He is a personified attribute, or epithet. 
He is the god of generation and reproduction, and was iden- 
tified as Pan by the Greeks, who called his chief city — Chem- 
mis, in the Thebais — by the name of Panopolis. But Khem 
not only merges into the god Num or Neph, he also usurps 
the functions of, or is the same as, the garden-god Ranno. 
It was but natural that the god of reproduction should 
also be a garden -god. This garden-god, Ranno, was repre- 
sented under the form of an asp, whose figure is found 
on wine-presses and garden and agricultural implements. 
It should here be observed that Priapus, the classical counter- 
part of the procreative Khem, was the tutelary deity of 


Was the chief god of Upper Egypt. From the signification 
of the name — "hidden" — it would appear that Amun was a 
deity of a highly spiritual character. As in the preceding 
instances, he is identified or connected with various other 
gods, e.g., he is named as Amun-ra (Ra being the sun-god), 
and Amun-num (Num, the living breath or spirit). His 
companion goddess was Mut or Maut ; and the two deities, 
with their son Khuns, formed the Trinity of Upper Egypt. 


The Greeks imagined to Ix^ the same as Hera. As such she 

NEPH. — PTHAH. 34$ 

wouKl bo the riuccn of heaven ; but a distinction was made 
between her and 


"WTio was said to be the gotldess of the upper heaven (or 
ether), whereas Sati was the goddess of the lower heaven (or 
air). If Neith be a sky-deity, and if she be also the mother 
of the sun-god, the facts are another instance from Egyptian 
mythology of that same process through which the Greeks 
jK'oplcd their Olympos and the Norsemen their Asgard. But 
further, the functions attributed to Neith seem to show that 
the idea of this goddess was developed much in the same way 
as that of the Greek Athene. As Athene in Greek, and 
Ahana in Sanscrit, meant originally the light of the dawn, 
and finally, moral and intellectual light, so we find that Neith 
also came to be a deity of wisdom. This goddess was wor- 
shipped especially at Sais in the Nile delta. 


To whom we have already referred as the second person of 
the Theban Trinity, meant the Mother, — Mother Nature, — 
and thus corresponded to the Greek Demetcr. 


Was chiefly worshipj)ed in the town of Bubastus in Lower 
Egypt. She was said to be the daughter of the great goddc^ss 
Isis. She was represented with the head of a cat, the animal 
specially sacred to her. 


Comes first in the second class of deities. The Greeks 


identified him with their own sun-god, Helios, and called the 
city in which he was principally worshipped Heliopolis. He 
is represented with a hawk's head, over which is a solar disc. 
His purely physical origin seems to be ];roved by the myths 
that Neith, or the upper air, was his mother; and that he 
married Mut (Demeter) : this merely signifying the interac- 
tion of earth and sunlight in producing vegetation. But again, 
Ra was said to have for children Athor, Mu, and Mat. Athor 
was identified with Ay^hrodite, who was originally the goddess 
of light; while Mu means physical light, and Mat moral light. 
Precisely the same transition in m'eaning happens in the story 
of Neith, and in that of Athene, Ahana, Ushas, and Eos. The 
wide prevalence of this god's worship shows in what impor- 
tance he was held, an im]>ortance naturally attaching to the 
sun-god among all nations given to elemental worship. From 
Ra, with the prefixed syllable Pi, was derived the name Phrah, 
or, in Old Testament spelling, Pharaoh. Every Pharaoh was 
thus entitled son of the sun. All this suggests that Sabaiism, 
or fire-worship, was originally practised in Egypt. Ra is also 
identical with liaal, a name implying *Mord," and applied to 
the sun. Baalbek means ''city of the sun," and was so named 
by the Greeks — Heliopolis. 


Is said to be the son of Ra. Tie is a sort of Egyptian 
Kronos, being represented in tlic hieroglyi^liics to be the 
father of the gods. Here again we have an interchange of 
functions; for it has been seen that Nei)h, Pthah, etc., have 
been similarly described. Also, like other gods in and out of 
Greek mythology, Seb marries his own sister, Nutpe. These 








Nile God. 

OSIRIS. 34y 

two were at the head of the ** Osirian divinities" — Osiris, Isis, 
Scth, Ncphthys. Nutpc or Ncpte has been identified with 
Rhea. She is su[)posed to coincide with Lucina, and to pre- 
side over births and nursing. As being the mother of Isis 
and Osiris, she was called the mother of the gods. 


(plate xliv.,) 

The great deity of the Egyptians, has lx?en by some identi- 
fied with the sun, or sunlight, or the vivifying powers 
in nature. According to this view the sleep or death of 
Osiris means the sleep of the spring-maiden Brynhild (see p. 
324), or the imprisonment of Persephone in the dark realm 
of Hades. His contest with Seb (by the Greeks called Ty- 
pho) would certainly seem to be another instance of the plau- 
sibility, at least, of this view. At any rate, Osiris, being re- 
stored to life, became the judge of the under-world. There 
he listens to Thoth's tale of the character of the disembodied 
souls, who are introduced to the judge by Horus (the son of 
Osiris), after their good and bad deeds have been weighed by 
Anubis in the scale of tnith. 

These trials in the under-world were attended by forty 
officers, called Assessors of the Dead, who are thus described 
by Sir Gardner Wilkinson : ** These assessors were similar to 
the bench of judges who attended at the ordinary tribunals 
of the Egyptians, and whose president, or arch-judge, cor- 
responded to Osiris. The assessors were represented in a 
human form with different heads. The first had the head of 
a hawk> the second of a man, the third of a hare, the fourth 
of a hippopotamus, the fifth of a man, the sixth of a hawk, 


the seventh of a fox, the eighth of a nian, the ninth of a 
ram, the tenth of a snake, and the others according to their 
peculiar character . . . They are supposed to represent the 
forty-two crimes from which a virtuous man was expected to 
be free when judged in a future state j or rather the accusing 
spirits, each of whom examined if the deceased was guilty^-of 
the peculiar evil which it was his province to avenge." 

The worship of Osiris was universal throughout Egypt, 
where he was gratefully regarded as the great example of self- 
sacrifice, as the manifester of good, as the opener of truth, 
and as being full of goodness and truth. As Osiris was the 
personification of physical and moral good, so his brother Seb 
(Typho) was the personification of all evil. Of the analogy 
between these two on the one hand, and the old Persian 
deities of good and evil, we have already spoken. 

Another explanation of the Osirian myth has thus been 
given : Osiris was the Nile god. (Plate XLIV.) The river, 
in its periodical inundations, was said to have married the 
earth (Isis, Rhea), and in its retreat to have been killed by 
the giant of Sterility (Seb, or Typhon), who was jealous, 
perhaps, of the wondrous fruitfulness of the marriage between 
the soil and the great river. 


Was the great beast-god of Egypt. This sacred bull was 
known as Apis at Memphis, and as Mnevis, or Onuphis, at 
Heliopolis. His worship was so prevalent and popular, 
because he was regarded as an avatar, or incarnation, of the 
favourite deity Osiris, whose soul had transmigrated into the 
body of a bull. The sacred bull was allowed to live for no 
more than twenty-five years, at the end of which it was taken 

APIS. 349 

to the Nile, and drowned in one of the sacred wells. His 
death was followed by national mournings, which, however, 
gave place to national thanksgivings, as soon as a new Avatar, 
or sacred bull discovered himself by the following marks : a 
black coat, a white triangular spot on the forehead, a spot 
like a half-moon on its right side, and under its tongue a 
knot like a beetle. The following quotations from ^lian, as 
given in Wilkinson, narrate the ceremonies consequent on 
the re-discovery of Osiris: — 

"As soon as a report is circulated that the Egyptian god has 
manifested himself, certain of the sacred scribes, well versed 
in the mythical marks, known to them by tradition, approach 
the spot where the divine cow has deposited her calf, and 
there, following the ancient ordinance of Hermes, feed it with 
milk during four months, in a house facing the rising sun. 
When this period has passed the sacred scribes and prophets 
resort to the dwelling of Apis, at the time of the new moon, 
and placing him in a boat prepared for the purpose, convey 
him to Memphis, where he has a convenient and agreeable 
abode, with pleasure grounds and ample space for wholesome 
exercise. Female companions of his own species are provided 
for him, the most beautiful that can be found, kept in apart- 
ments to which he has access when he wishes. He drinks out 
of a well, or fountain of clear water : for it is not thought 
right to give him the water of the Nile, which is considered 
too fottening . . The man from whose herd the divine 
beast has sprung is the happiest of mortals, and is looked upon 
with admiration by all people." Cambyses, it is said, found 
a set of villagers rejoicing over a new sacred bull, and fancy- 
ing they were making merry over his recent defeat in Ethio- 
pia, the king of ki" - ; at once ran the bull through the body, 


and had the priests flogged. It was considered a good omen 
if the bull ate food offered to it. Men also listened at the 
ears of Apis, then put their hands to their own ears to prevent 
the escape of the secret, which they interpreted according to 
the nature of the first words they chanced to hear uttered. 


(plate xlv.) 

Was another name of Osiris, although the Greeks said that 
his worship was not known in Egypt until the time of Ptolemy 
Philadelphus, when it was introduced from Sinope, under 
the name of Serapis. Serapis was known as the judge of the 


(plate xlv.) 

Was the wife of Osiris, also a counterpart of him; for, as he 
was judge of the dead, so she is described as the giver of death. 
She is identified with Ceres and Persephone, and, in this view, 
the grief of Isis for her husband may be regarded as an Egyp- 
tian version of the myth representing Demeter as mourning 
for the loss of her daughter. Apulcius makes her declare : 
^'1 am nature, the parent of all the gods, mistress of all the 
elements, the beginning of all "the ages, sovereign of the gods, 
queen of the manes, and the first of the heavenly beings." 
But as the mother of all she is convertible with Mat and Nutpe 
(see pp. 346, 347). And then Apuleius proceeds: *'My 
divinity, uniform in itself, is honoured under numerous forms, 





ANUBIS. 351 

various rites, aiul different names. . . . but the sun-illumed 
Ethiopians, and the Egyptians renowned for ancient lore, 
worship me with due ceremonies, and call me by my real 
name, * Queen Isis.' " Plutarch considers Isis to be the earth, 
the feminine part of nature, while Diodorus says that the 
Egyptians, considering the earth to be the parent of all things 
born, called her Mother, just as the Greeks called earth 


With Hor, or Horus, and Har-pi-chruti, or Harpocrates, 
were the children of Osiris and Isis. The first was a jackal- 
headed god ; and, according to another myth, was the son of 
Osiris and Nephthys, a sister of Isis, who, fearing the jealousy 
of Isis, concealed the child by the sea-shore. The office of 
Anul»is was to superintend the passage of souls to their abode 
in the unseen world. As such he corresponded to the Greek 
Hermes Psychopompos. Anubis presided over tombs; and 
he is frequently introduced in sculpture as standing over abler 
on which a corpse is deposited. Horus was a hawk-headed 
god. As the avenger of his father Osiris, who was slain by 
Typhon, he was identified by the Greeks as Apollo. He also 
corresponded in some degree to the sun-god Ra, and was 
worshipped by the Egyptians as representing the vivifying 
power of the sun. Harpocrates seems to be merely another 
version of Horus — he is a personification of the sun. He is 
represented as a child sitting on a lotus flower, with his finger 
on his lips. Under this figure he was thought of as the god 
of silence. Perhaps in placing a representation of him in 
front of each of their temples, the ^yise Egyptians meant to 



symbolize the fact that worship ought to be conducted with 


Was the god of letters, the clerk of the under-world, and"^e 
keeper of the records for the great judge Osiris. He is rep- 
resented with the head of an ibis, and bearing a tablet, pen, 
and palm-branch. So great was the respect in which the 
sacred ibis was held — on account, no doubt, of its usefulness 
in destroying venomous reptiles — that any one guilty of kill- 
ing it was himself punished with death. 


Was the third member of the trinity of Northern Ethiopia, 
the other two members being Sati and Neph. 


Unlike her Greek representative — who was a cruel monster 
born of the evil powers Typhon and Echidna — was a benefi- 
cent being who personified the fruit-bearing earth, and, like 
the sun and sky powers we have named above, was a deity of 
wisdom and knowledge. Her figure — lion-bodied, with the 
head and breast of a woman — was placed before every temple. 
The Egyptian Cerberus, or hell watch-dog, must have been a 
more forbidding and strange-looking animal than his Greek 
brother. He had the trunk and legs of a hippopotamus, with 
the head of a crocodile. 



Ahas, 212, 213 

Ahtlcra, 255 

Abderos, 255 

Absyrtos, 275 

Achxans, 206, 239 

Acheloides, 149 

AchcliJos, 149, 151, 264 

Acheron, 59 

Achilles, 60, 81, 147, 158, 167, 
176, 203, 233, 251, 289, 290, 
291, 292', 293, 294,^95, 296, 297, 

Admetos, 106, 262, 270, 272 

Adonaia, Adonias, 86 

Adonis, 86, 317 

Adrastea, 29, 186 

Adrastos, 277, 278, 279, 281 

vEakos, 62 

JEetes, 274, 275 

TEgeus, 239, 241, 266, 268, 275 

^f^ina, 71, 84, 85, 128, 219 

^gipanes, 137 

./'Egisthos, 245. 301, 302 

v*:gle, loS, 157 

iligyptos, 211, 212 

y^2ello, 190 

iEneas, 86, 95, 285, 301 

yEolians, 206 

^olos (wind god), described, 163; 

^olos, 271, 305 
^rope, 244 

iEschylus, I, 14, 68, 231, 325 
-^sculapfus, see Asklepios 
JEmt, 312, 313 
iEsou, 2^1 
iEther, 22, 193 


Ethiopia, 216 

^thon, 67 

iEthra, 154, 265, 286 

yt^tna, 82 

Agamemnon, III, 189, 245, 285, 

286, 287, 289, 290, 292, 293, 

296, 298, 301, 302, 303 
Aganippe, 157 
Agathodacmon, 197 
Agaue, 226, 227 
Agenor, 118, 211, 225, 240 
Aglaea, 174, 175 
Aglauros, 236 

Agiii, 333^ 334, 337 

Agriegentum, 241 

Agrotera, 1 10 

Ahi, 331 

Ahoma, Dahana, 345, 346 

Ahriman, 342 

Aides, Aidoneus, see Hades 

Ais, Aides, Aidoneus, see Hades 

Ajax, 203, 295, 297 

Akrisios, 213, 215, 217, 218, 323 

Aktree, 147 

Aktceon, in, 226 

Alekto, 28, 190 

Alexander the Great, 115 

Alexr.ndros, see Paris 

Alkceos, 218 

Alkamcnes, 77 

Alkestis, 262 

Alkinotis, 306 

Alkippe, 237 

Alkmxon, 278 

Alkmcne, 39, 48, 218, 246 

Alkyoneus, 43 

Aloeus, 76, 209 

Alphabet (Phoenician), 224 




Alpheios, 114, 151 

Alsei'ds, 153 

Altha:a, 173, 269, 270 

Amalthea, 29 

Amarynthia, 114 

Amazons, 223, 256, 268, 295 

Ammon, Amum, 2i6 

Amor, see Eros 

Amorettes, Erotes, 171 

Amphianax, 213 

Amphiaraos, 278, 280, 281 

Amphion, 126; legend of, 227, 

Amphitrite, described, 55; 147, 14S 

Amphitr)'on, 218, 246, 247 

Amun, see Ammon 

Amykloc, 99, 285 

Amyklas, 99 

Amykos, 273 

Amymone, 52, 211, 250 

Anadyomene, 85 

Ananke, see Fate 

Ananta, 339 

Anar, see Onar 

Anchirrhoe, 211 

Anchises, 86, 301 

Ancile, 78 

Androgens, 241 

Andromache, 294, 301 

Andromeda, 51, 216, 217, 218, 219 

Anka^os, 270 

Anouke, 352 

Antaios, 52, 262 

Anteia, 222 

Anteros, 87, 169, 171 

Anthesteria, 120 

Antigone, 231, 277, 279, 282 

Antiope, 228, 229, 269 

Antium, 179, 183 

Anubis, 347, 351 

Aoede, 158 

Apaturia, 82 

Apeliotes, 164 

Apellcs, I 

Aphrodite, Venus, 10, 17, 24, 39, 
77; described, 83; 97, 125, 130, 
135. 147, i(Ji, 168, 169, 170, 
»7i, 172, 173. 174, 175. I7^>, 
I77» 187, 195, 207, 226, 273, 
283, 284, 285, 286, 346 

Aphrodite Pandcmos, 85 

Apis, Mnevis, Onuphis, 348, 350 

Apollinarian games, 107 

Apollo, 10, 15, 16, 20, 24, 39, 43, 
53, 61, 72; described, 96, 108, 
109, III, 112, 123, 124, 125, 127, 
130, 135. i3^> 152, 153, 158,161, 
172, 177, 178, 179, 181, 190, 202, 
209, 215, 228, 229, 234, 238, 252, 
256, 263, 269, 278, 283, 292, 
297, 299, 302, 303, 313, 351 

Appius Claudius, 187 

Arabia, 21 1 

Arcadia, 6, 52, 66, IIO, 112, 136, 
213, 250, 252 

Archcmoros, 280 

Archimedes, i 

Areopagus, 77, 237, 303 

Ares, Mars, 10. 39, 47; de- 
scribed, 75; 80, 87, 90, 125, 
138, 168, 187, 209, 220, 224, 226, 
237, 243, 253, 256, 307, 334 

Arethusa, 114, 151, 157 

Argeiphontes, 125 

Arges, 27 

Argiope, 235 

Argo, 54,271 

Argolis, 177 

Argonauts, 53, 54, 91, 150, 191, 
204, 209, 242, 253, 268 

Argonautic expedition, 235, 269 

Argos, 125, 210, 211 

Argos, district of, 47, 48, 51, 52, 
87, 190, 221, 222 

Argos, heroes of, 210; 219, 245,246 

Ariadne, 120, 241, 267 

Arion, 52, 67, 119, 281 

Aristceos, 226, 234 

Arsinoe, 86 

Artemis, Diana, 10, 24, 39, 61, 
70, 100, 104; described, 109; 
151, 152, 178, 190, 224, 226, 
229, 252, 253, 290, 303 

Arval brothers, 307 

Asa Bridge, 312 

A;a folk, 310,312, 316 

Asgard, 312, 313, 345 

Ash, 312 

A ;\\nios, 86, 301 

Asklepia, 179 

Asklepios, ^Esculapius, 104, I06; 
described, 178; 1 8 1, 182, 233 



Asopos, 151, 219, 228 

Astartc, 84, 210, 239 

Astcria, 70 

Astcrion, 240 

Astnca, l)ike, 39, 44, 128 

Astrwos, 164, 1C6 

Astyanax, 294 

Atalanta, iii, 270, 27S 

Ale, 1 88, 189 

Alhamas, 149, 226, 272 

Athene, Pallas, Minerva, 10, 24, 
39. 43.47. 5». 73. 75. 82, 86, 87; 
described, 88; 1 13, 125, 135, 157, 
175, 183, 1S7, 192, 207, 208, 

212, 215, 216, 217,218, 222, 225, 
226, 236, 237, 249, 283, 284, 292, 
298, 299, 303, 335, 345, 346 

Athens, 6, 28, 40, 69, 77, 92, 
93, 94, loi, 113, 114, 119, 
128, 129, 157, 164, 165, 169, 173, 
174, 176, 186, 190, 239, 241, 275 

Athor, 346 

Athos, 165 

Atlantids, 154 

Atlxs, 121, 154, 156, 216, 258 

Atli, 324. 325 

Atreus, 244, 286 

Atroix>s, 185, 269 

Attica, 31, 51, 66, 67, 92, 119, 176, 
20S, 232; lejjcnds of, 236; 239, 
241, 205, 279 

Attis, 34 

Audhum))la, 311 

Auj^eian Stables, 253 

Augeias, 253, 254 

Augurs, 139 

Aui^ustus, 134 

Auka, 343 

Aulis, III, 288, 2S9, 290 

Auloniads, 153 

Aura, 167 

Aurora, see Eos 

Austri, 311 

Autonoe, 226 

Auxo, 175 

Avatars of Vishnu, 339 

Avenius, 58, 71 

Baal, 346 
Bakchos, Bacchus, see Dionysos 

Baldr, 312, 313, 316 

Bali, 317 

Battos, 123 

Baukis, 38 

Bellero])h()n, 92, 166, 204; de- 
scribed, 221 ; 248 

Belleros, 222 

Bellonarii, 1 88 

Bclos, 211, 225 

Bcrekuntia, ^i 

Bhavani, Pracrili, 338 

Bias, 214 

Bifrons, 133 

Bifrust, 312, 319 

B<votia, 52, 157, 169, 173, 174, 225 

Boiotos, 59 

Biir, 311 

Boreas, 131, 164, 165, 166, 191, 
196, 238, 256, 273, 274 

Borghild, 323 

Bori, 311 

liragi, 313.318,319 

Brahm, 336, 337, 33S 

Brahma, 336; described, 337; 338, 

Brahmanism, 327 
Branchida;, 103 
Brauronia, 1 14 
Breidablick, 312, 316 
Briareus, 26 
Briseis, 176, 292 
Britomarlis m 
Bromio^, 117 
Brono, 316 
Brontes, 26 

Bronze Age, 44, 1 28, 242 
Brynhild, 317, 324, 347 
Bubastis, 345 
Bubastus, 345 
Buddha, 340 
Buddhism, 327 
Busiris, 262 


rndmus, see Kadmos 
C uiibyses, 349 
Campania, 83 
Canens, 139 
Capitoline Hill, 33 
Cappadocia, 218 

35 6 


Carthage, 85 

Danaides, 61, 213 

Cassandra, 103 

Danaos, 52, 211, 212 

Caucasus, 82, 207 

Daphne, 113 

Centaurs, 231, 232, 233, 


Daphnephoria, loi 

Cerberus, 58, 248, 352 

Dardanos, 178 

Ceres, see Demeter 

Dei'aneira, 264, 265, 324 

Cerigo, see Cytherea 

Deidamia, 232, 288 

Chalkeia, 82 

Deimos, 76 

Chaos, 30, 193 

Deino, 193 

Charis, 83 

Deioneus, 232 

Charites, Graces, 39, 47 



Deiphobe, 103 

161, 171 ; described, 



Delia, 105 

186, 208 

Delos, 82, 102, 104, 269. 

Charitesia, 175 

Delphi, 6, 15, 16, 17, 30, 97, loi, 

Charlemagne, 309 

102, 103, 104, 105, 214, 225, 

Charon, 58, 122 

238, 263, 302 

Cheiron, Chiron, 179, 



Delphinia, loi 


Delphinion, loi 

Chimera, 222 

Delphinios, loi 

Chiron, see Cheiron 

Demeter, Ceres, 5, 10, 24, 29, 33, 

Chloris, Flora, 1 31, 165 

39, 52, 57, 61, 63; described, 

Chrysaor, 216 

65; 71, 120, 150,172, 192,243, 

Chryse, 292 

345, 350, 351 

Chryseis, 292 

Demigods, 200 

Chryses, 292 

Demosthenes, i 

Chrysippos, 244 

Deukalion, 44, 206, 271 

Circe, 139, 305 

Dia, 176, 231 

Compitalia, 199 

Diana, see Artemis 

Corinth, 6, 16, 49, 85, 



Diana of Ephesus, 114, 115, 224 

120, 213; legends of, 2 



Dike, Astra^a, 44, 131, 186 

Cretan Bull, 254 

Diktynna, in 

Crete, 29, 30, 31,49* 66, 



Diktys, 215, 217 

169, 174, 236; legends 


Dindumene, 2)3 


Diomedes, 75, 95, 255, 298, 299, 301 

Crimea, 6, 113 

Dione, 5, 39, 85 

Cumse, 58, 103 

Dionysia, 120 

Cumsean Sibyl, 103 

Dionysos, 18, 43, 48, 69, 80, 81 ; 

Cupid, see Eros 

described, 117; 135, 136, 137, 

Cyparissus, 143 

140, 141, 144, 145, 148, 152, 154, 

Cyprus, 85, 86, 87 


Cyrene, Kyrene, 99, 262 

^^5 „ _ 

Cytherea, island of, 85 

Dioskuri, 285, 286 

Cythere, 85, 87 

Dirre, see Krinys 
l:)irke, 228, 229 


Discordia, see Eris 
Dithyrambos, 1 1 7, I18 

Dpedalos, 241, 242 

Dodona, 36, 84, 155 

Demons or Genii, 197, 



Dodonids, 155 


1 )onar, see Thor 

Damastcs, 266 

Doorga, Kali, 320, 338 

Dande, 214, 215, 217 

Doridcs, 146, 147, 154 



Dorians, 206, 239 

Epimenides, 103 

Dons, 55, 146 

Epimetheus, 208 

Dr>ad,s 25. 153 

Eixjpcus, 228 

Dwarves, 315, 320 

Erato, 147, 161 

Dwergina:il-Zwer^sprache, 321 

Erebos, 22, 184, 186, 193 

Dyaus, 327; described, 328; 329, 

Erechtheum, 94 


Erechtheu-s, 237, 238, 265, 269 

Dynaraene, 147 

Ergane, 92 

Erichthonios, 82, 92, 237 


Eridanus, loS 

Echidna, 249, 331, 352 

Erinys, Euinenides, Semnx, Furice, 

Echion, 227 

28, 52, 64, 186; described, 189; 

Echo, 155 

190, 192,234,303,327 

Edda, 310, 312, 325 

Eriphyle, 278 

Ei^'pt, Reli;::ion of, 341 

Eris, Discordia, 76, 187, 283 

Eileithyia, Eleutho, 48, 112 

Erl-Kiinig, 320 

Eirene, Pax, 13 1 ; described, 1S4 

Eros, Cupid, Amor, 22, 86; de- 

Elektra, 162, 191,302 

scribed, 168; 173 

Elektr>-on, 218 

Erotidia, 169 

Eleusinia, 68 

Erymanthian boar, 250 

Eleusinian Mysteries;, 57, 64, 68, 

Erymanthos, 250 

69, 120 

Erysichthon, 66 

Eleusis, 6, 10, 66, 68, 69, 172, 2 ?7, 

Erytheis, 157 


Eteokles, 230, 277, 27S, 2S0 

Eleutherx, 228 

Eteoklos, 278 

Eleutho, see Eileithyia 

Euboea, 49, 1 14 

E^lfheim, 312, 320 

Euclid, I 

Elis, 16,45,47, 93, 112, 243 

Eumenides, see Erinys, 1S7, 190, 

Elis and Argos, legends of, 243 

279, 303 

Elpis, 172 

Eumolpos, 69, 237 

Elves, 320 

Euneike, 1 47 

Elysion, 60, 196, 227 

Euneos, 273, 2S0 

Emathion, 167 

Eunomia, 131 

Embla, 312 

Euphrosyne, 174 

Enaijonios, 123 

Euripides, i, 197 

Endymion, 114 

Europa, 225, 239, 240, 242 

Enijx^us, 271 

Euros, 164, 166 

Enkelodos, 43, 91 

Eur)-ale, 191 

Enyalios, 187 

Eurybia, 27 

Enyo, Bellonia, 187, 193 

Eurydikc, 153, 234, 316 

Eos, Aurora, 111,164; described, 

Eurynome, 39, 80, 174, 189, 316 

165; 319.334,346 

Euryphassa, 316 

Epaphos, 107, 210, 211 

Eurypylos, 298 

Ejieios, 299 

Eur^'stheus, 244, 246, 247, 248, 

Ephesus, 115 

250, 251, 255, 256 

Ephialtes 43. 76, 209, 231 

Eur)'tion, 232 

Epicurus, I 

Eur)tos, 235, 248 

Enidauros, 179, 266 

Euterpe, 160 

Epigoni, wife of Asklepios, iSo 

Epigoni, 277, 2S2 


Epimelios, i:;6 

Fafnir, 323, 324 



Farbanti, 319 

Graeae, 193, 215 

Fate, 39; described, 184 

Gram, 322, 323 

Fatuus, see Faunus 

Gredr, 318 

Fauna, Fatua, 138; described, 


Gudrun, 322, 324 

142, 143 

Gulltopr, 319 

Faunalia, 138 

Gunnar, 317,324 

Faunus, Fatuus, 138, 139, 140, 


Gyes, see Gyges 

Fays, 140 

Gyges, Gyes, 26 

Fenris, 318, 319, 320, 332 

Gyrton, 231 

Flamen pomonalis, 132 

Flora, see Chloris 


For-seti, 313 


Fortuna, See Tyche 

Hades, Aides, Pluto, 10, 36 


Freija, Frigg, 312, 314, 315 

50; described, 56; 62, 63 


Freyr, Fro, 313,317,318 

129, 189, 215, 216, 220, 


Frigg, see Freija 

305, 347 

Fulla, Volla, 315 

Haemon, 282 

Furise, see Erinys 

Hasmos, 235 
Halie, 147 


Halirrhotios, 237 
Haloa, Thalysia, 67 

Gaea, Ge, Tellus, Terra, 5, 22 


Hamadryads, 131, 153 

28, 30, 33, 82, 127, 140, 


Hamund, 323 

146, 162, 188,237 

Harrnonia, 158, 226, 283 

Galatea, 147 

Harpe, 216 

Galaxaure, 154 

Harpokrates, 351 

Galene, 147 

Harpys, 162; described, 19OJ 


Gamelia, 48 

Hastinapur, 325 

Ganesa, 339 

Hebdomeios, 102 

Ganges, 20, 339 

Hebe,Tuventas,39: described. 


Ganymeda, 176 


Ganymedes, 177; described, i 


Hebros, 235 

Ge, see Gaea 

Hecate, 43; described, 70 j 140 

Gerda, 317 

Hegemone, 175 

Geryon, 256 

Heimdall, 313, 319 

Geryoneus, 216, 256 

Hekabe, Hekuba, 283 

Giants, 22, 28, 43, 53, 91, 93, 


Hekate, see Hecate 

148, 188, 202, 231 

Hekatombreon, 41 

Ginki, 310 

Hekatoncheires, 26, 27, 30 

Ginnunga gap, 311 

Hektor, 76, 84, 291, 293, 294, 


Gioll, 312 


Gladsheim, 312 

Hel, 312, 320 

Glauke, 147, 275 

Hela, 312 

Glaukopis, 93 

Helena, 186, 284, 285, 286, 


Glaukos, 103; described, 220 

291, 298, 301 

Gmir, 321 

Helcnos, 284, 297 

Golden Age, 44, 128 

Helgi, 314,323 

Gorgons, 91, 191, 193, 216 

Hcliades, 108 

Gorgophonc, 91 

Heligoland, 314 

Gortys, 239, 240, 241 

Hclikon, 157, 158, 173 

Graces, see Charites 

Heliopolis, 346, 348 



Helios, S<il, 51, 77 ; descrihed, 96; 
109, 114,165,166,240,274,331, 

Helle, 272 

llcllcn, 206, 271, 272 
llcllcs{)onl, 135, 203 
Hemera, 22, 193 
Hephivslos, Vuluin, 24, 27, 39, 43, 

47, 77 ; descrilHjd, 79; 87, 89, 

125, 175, 207, 208, 226, 237, 242, 

294, 296, 315, 333.343 
Hem, Here, jun<>, 5, 10, 24, 29, 3^, 

39, 40,43; described, 46-49; 50, 

51. 50. 75. 79. ^7.9». »04» 118, 
125, 130, 140, 149. 156, 162, 
168, 176, 177, 185, 210, 212; 
image of, 2 1 3 ; 2 14, 2 1 8, 2 1 9, 232, 
246,247,249, 255,256,271,283, 
284, 344 

Herakk-s, Hercules, 39,42, 43, 47, 

52, 58, 76, 91, 104, 1 16, 126, 148, 
156, 169, 177, 204, 207, 209, 
218, 220, 223, 233, 242, 245, 246; 
the choice oi\ 246, 247; legends 
of, 248; 265, 266, 267, 268, 272, 
2S9, 290, 297, 324, 327 

Hercules, see Herakles 

Hemiae, 126 

Hermaphrotlitos, 87 

llennajKjUo, 135 

Hermathene, 135 

Hermes, Mercury, 18, 20, 24, 38, 
39, 63, 104, 118; described, 
121; 134, 13<J. 140, 144. 152, 153. 
162, 168, 1<>9, 175, 183, 199, 208, 
209, 210,211,212,215,217,227, 
232, 236, 246, 294, 330, 349 

Herodotus, I, 16, 342 

Heroes, described, 200 

Herostratos, 115 

Hei-se, 236, 237 

Hesioa, 17, 22, 23, 36, 158,203,310 

Hesione, 51, 53 

Hesjxire, 157 

Hesperides, 156, 248 

Hesperides, Ciarden of, 156, 258 

Hesperis, 156 

Hcslia, Vesta, 24, 29, 33 ; described, 

71; 78, 143 
Hialprck, 323 
Hilareira, 2S5 

Himeros, 86, 17 1 

Himinbiorg, 312 


Hipjx), 154 

Hipix)damcia, 243, 244 

Hippodromes, 221 

Hipj-H)ko()ntidcs, 263 

Hippokrene, 157 

Hipjx)lochos, 224 

Hippolyte, 256, 268 

Hippolytos, 87 

Hipponoos, 27S 

Hippotes, 163 

Hjordis, 323 

H6dr, 313,316,317 

Homer, 1,17, 22, 46, 50, 76, 81, 
158, 248 

Hur.e, 39, 47, 86, 128; described, 
129; 161, 184, 208 

Horatius Codes, 308 

Horus, 347, 351 

llresvelgr, 321 

Hrimthursen, 321 

Hrungnir, 321 

Ilunding, 323 

Hunin, 314, 315 

Hunland, 324 

Hyads, 154 

Hyakinthia, 99 

Hyakinthios, 99 

Ilyakinthos, 99 

Ilyas, 154 

Hygiea, Hygieia, Hygea, iSo; de- 
scribed, 181 ; 182 

Hylreos, 137 

llylas, 273 

Hymen, Hymenceos, 87 ; described, 

Hyperlx)reans, loi, 104, 252 

Hyperion, 27, 107, 165 

Hypermnestra, 212, 213 

Hypnos, Somnus, 194 

Hypsipyle, 273, 280 


Ireland, 20, 309, 310 
Ida, 46, 153,178,283,301 
Ida (nymph), 29 
Idas, 27c, 2S5 



Idomeneus, 286, 301 

Iduna, 319 

Ikaros, 119, 242 

Ikelos, 195 

Iliad, 46, 50, 51, 76, 83, 175, 177, 

194, 203, 276, 321, 322 
Ilion, see Troy 
Ilithyia, see Eileithyia 
Illyrium, 227 
Inibros, 126 
Inachos, 210 
Indra, described, 329; 330, 331, 

332, 334, 33^, 342 

Ino, 149, 226, 272 

Inuus, 137 

lo, 48, 107, 125; described, 210; 
214, 218 

lobates, 213, 222 

lolaos, 250 

lole, 264 

lolkos, 231, 270, 271, 272, 275 

Ion, 237; legend of, 238 

lonians, 206 

Iphigeneia, 12, ill, 290, 292, 303 

Iphikles, 247 

Iphimedeia, 209 

Iphis, 278 

Iris, 47; described, 162; 265, 287 

Iron Age, 44 

Isandros, 224 

Isfeudyar, 317 

Isis, Mut, 344, 345, 346; de- 
scribed, 350 

Ismene, 231, 277 

Ismenios, loi 

Isthmian Games, 16, 220 

Isthmus of Corinth, 16, 54, 266, 275 

Itanos, 239 

Ithaka, 163, 306 

Itys, 238 

Ixion, 61, 231, 232 


Jacchos, see Dionysos 
Janita, see Dyaus 
Janus, 32; described, 132 
Janus, Temple of, 184 
Japetos, 27, 207 
Jardanos, 239 
Jasion, 66 

Jaso, 181 

Jason, 233, 270, 271, 279 
Jokaste, 229, 230, 231, 277 
Jotunheim, 311, 312 
Julius Caesar, 198 
Julius, see Askanios 
Juno, see Hera 
Junones, 49 
Jupiter, see Zeus 
Juventas, see Hebe 

K. . 

Kadmilos, Kasmilos, 126 
Kadmos, 6, 118, 149, 158; legend 

of, 224; 228 
Kaineus, 232 
Kalai's, 191 

Kalchas, 289, 290, 292 
Kali Yuga, 337, 338 
Kalki Avatara, 340 
Kalliope, 160, 172, 234 
Kallirrhoe, 154, 1 78 
Kalliste, no 
Kallisto, 113 
Kalydon, 76, 269, 270 
Kalydonian Hunt, 76, 269 
Kalydonian Boar, 76, IIO, 269 
Kalypso, 154, 306 
Kamadeva, 339 
Kapaneus, 278, 280 
Karneia, 98 
Karneios, 98 
Karpo, 129 
Kassandra, 283, 284, 297, 301, 

Kassiepeia, 216 
Kastalia, 157 

Kastor, 227, 270, 272, 285 
Kekropia, 236 

Kekrops, legend of, 236, 238 
Kelceno, 191 
Keleos, 66 
Kephalos, 166, 167 
Kepheus, 216, 217, 218, 263 
Kephissos, 151, 155 
Kerl)eros, see Cerberus 
Kerkyon, 266 
Keryneian Stag, 250, 252 
Kcryx, 236 
Keto, 191, 193 



Khem, 344 

Labyrinth, 241, 267 

Khuns, 344 

Lachesis, 185 

Kilix, 225 

Ladon, 156, 252 

Kirke, see Circe 

Laertes, 287 

Kithxron, 153, 229, 230, 247 

Laios, 229, 230. 277, 323 

Kleitos, 166 

Laked.-emon, 270 

Kleta, 175 

Lakonia, 112 

Klio, 159 

Lakshmi, 339 

Klotho, 185 

Lnmpetia, 108 

Klytxmnestra, 189, 190, 


Lampsakos, 135 


Laodaiiiia, 224 

Klytios, 43 

Laokoon, 299, 300 

Knidos, 85 

Laomedon, 53, 98, 106, 262 

Knosos, 239 

Lapithae, 231, 232 

Koios, 27 

Lara, 199 

Kokalos, 242 

Lar, Lares, 198, 199 

Kolchis, 191, 204, 271, 274, 275 

Lararium, 198 

Kolonos, 190, 279 

Larisa, 213, 218 

Komana, 187 

Larvx, 199 

Komos, 142 

Latona, see Leto 

Kopo, loi 

Latium, 133, 138 

Kora, see Persephone, 63 

Learchos, 272 

Koronides, I78 

Leda, 285 

Koronis, 178 

Leirnoniads, 153 

Kurybantes, 34 

Lemnos, 79, 81, 82, 120, 126, 207, 

Kos, 43, 263 

208, 273, 280, 290, 298 

K ottos, 26 

Lemures, 199 

Kreios, 27 

Lenaea, 120 

Kreon, 275, 279, 281, 282 

Lerna, 52, 21 1 

Kreta, see Crete 

Lernxan Hydra, 249, 250 

Krcusa, 238 

Lesbos, 235 

Krishna, 340 

Lethe, 59 

Krommyon, The Boar of, 266 

Leto, I^tona, 39, 61, 70, 100, 104, 

Kronia, 31 

107. 215 

Kronion, Kronoides, 36 

Leukippos, 2S5 

Kronos, 18, 26, 27, 28; described, 

Leukophryne, 116 

29.30, 31. 32, 33.39.42,44 


Leukosia, 150 

57,60,65, 71. 189, 203,328,346 

Leukothea, described, 149; 226, 306 

Kuretes, 29, 34 

Libera, 63, 69 

Kumia, 339 

Libitina, Lubentina, 65 

Kuvera, 339 

Libya, 211, 216, 22$ 

Kybele, Kybebe. ^^, 136, 140, 


Lichas, 264 

Kyklopes, 22, 26, 27, 30, 106, 


Ligeia, 150 


Limnads, 154 

Kykhos, 76, 108 

Limnaia, 113 

Kyllenios, 123 

Limoniads, 153 

Kypsclos, 196 

Linos, 247 

Kyzikos, 273 

Lipara Islands, 163 
Lips, 164 


Litoe, 1 89 

Labdakos, 227, 22S, 229, 237 

Loki, 316, 317, 319, 320 



Lucifer, 168 

Lucina, 49, 347 

Luna, see Selene 

Lupercalia, 138, 307 

Lupercus, 137 

Lutinus, 135 

Lyasos, 117 

Lydia, 144, 263 

Lykia, Lycia, 102, 213, 221, 222, 243 

Lykios, 102 

Lykomedcs. 269, 288 

Lykos, 228, 229, 239 

Lykurgos, (lef^islator), 113, 240 

Lykurgos (king), 119, 256, 279 

Lynlceus, 212, 213, 270, 285 


Machseon, 285 

Mxnads, 235 

Mahabharata, 321, 325, 336 

Maia, 39, 1 2 1, 140 

Manes, 199 

Marathon, 204, 255, 267 

Mars, see Ares 

Marspiter (Mars Pater), 77 

Marsyas, 106 

Maruts, 330, 334 

Mat, 346, 350 

Mater Turrita, 34 

Matronalia, 49 

Matsya, 339 

Maut, 345 

Mechanitis, 93 

Medea, 242, 265, 274, 275, 322, 

Meditrina, 181 
Meditrinalia, 181 
Medusa, 52, 91, 191, 192, 215, 216, 

217, 219, 221 
Megjera, 28, 190 
Megapenthes, 218 
Megara, 239 
Mekone, 207 
Melampos, 214 
Mclamion, 278 

Melcagros, 76, ill, 269,270,272 
Melete, 158 
Melia, 210 
Melian Nymphs, 28 
Melikertes, 149, 220, 272 
Melolosis, 154 

Melpomene, 159 

Memnon, 81, 167, 296 

Memphis, 343 

Menelaos, 245, 285, 286, 287, 299, 

Menoetios, 288 

Menoikcus, 229, 281 

Mercury, see Hermes. 

Merope, 220 

Mcssene, 270 

Mcssenia, 99, II2 

Mctageitnia, loi 

Mcthymna, 119 ' 

Metion, 239 

Metis, 30, 39, 89, 128 

Midas, 35, 106, 136 

Midea, 244 

Midgard, 311, 3 1 2, 320 

Miletus, 103 

Mimir, 319 

Minerva, see Athene 

Minos, 62, III, 174, 204; legend 
of, 240; 244, 254, 267, 269 

Minotaur, 101,241,267 - 

Minyai, 231, 247 

Miolnir, 334 

Mncme, 158 

Mnemosyne, 27, 39, 157, 161, 314 

Mncvis, see Apis, 348 

Moloch, 31, 239 

Molorchos, 249 

Moera, Moerre, Parcoe, 128; de- 
scribed, 184; 296 

Moeragetes, 185 

Momus, 195 

Morpheus, 195 

Mors, see Thanatos 

Mosychlos, 80, 8 1 

Mu, 346 

Munin, 314 

Munychia, 114 

Musagetes, 104, 158 

Museia, 157 

Muses, 130, 149, 150; described, 
157; 171, 174, 175. 177. 194, 
226, 234, 235, 297 

Museums, 159 

Musi:)elheim, 311,321 

Mut, see Isis 

Mykencc, 210, 218, 244, 248, 251, 
254, 255, 302 



Myrmidons, 293 
Myrrha, 87 
Myrtilos, 244 

Najjananda, 32 1 

Naiafls, 154 

Na|xv.x, 153 

Naranaya, 337 

Narasingha, 340 

Narkissos, 155 

Nxstrand, 312 

Nauplia, 211 

Nauplios, 211 

Nau-sikiia, 306 

Nausimcdon, 212 

Nax<>s, 120, 267 

Neith, Ncitha, 345, 346 

Nclcus, 53, 272 

Netnea, 249 

Nemcan Games, 16 

Nemoan Lion, 249 

Ncmcsia, 186 

Nemesis, 172; described, 186; 189 

Ncoptolemos, 288, 297, 301 

Ncph, Num, Nu, Nef, Cnouphis, 

Ceuul)is, 343, 344 
Nephele, 272 
Ncphthys, 347. 35.1 
N€i)tunc, see Poseidon 
Nereids, described, 146,149,154, 

216, 220 
Nereus, 55, 145; described, 146; 


Nesaie, 147 

Nessos, 264 

Nestor, 53, 287, 301 

Neverita, 55 

Nibl'.mgs, 317,321 

Niflheim, 311, 312 

Xike, Victoria, 93; described, 183 

Nile, 211, 345 

Niobe, 100, 229, 243 


Ncmios, loi, 126 

Nordri, 311 

N :>rncn, 321 

Notus, 164, 166 

Nox, seeNyx 

Numa Pompilius, 73, 78, 134 

Nuti)c, 346, 347, 350 

Nyktcus, 228, 153 

Nymphs, 28, 113, 137; described, 

Nysa, 118, 144 
Nyx, Nox, Ni^bt, 22,70, 184, 185, 

189; descriJjed, 193; 1 96 


Octoljcr horse, 78 

Odin, 311, 312; described, 313; 

317, 322, 323, 324, 325 
Odysseas, Ulysses, 60, 95, 149, 1 50, 

163, 287, 288, 290, 296, 297, 

298, 299, 300, 301 ; wanderings 

of, 304 
Odyssey, 59, 77, 203, 248, 276, 321, 

QLchalia, 235, 264 
Gidipos, 229, 230, 277, 279, 

O^neus, 264, 269 
CEnoma:os, 76, 176, 243, 244 
CEnonc, 324 
Giia, 264 
Oj;res. 334 
Oiax, 212 
Oikles, 262, 278 
OTleiis, see Ajax 
Okeanids. 146, 1 54, 174 
Okeanos, 22, 23, 27, 30, 39, 55, 

58; d".cril)ed, 145; 148, 151, 

154, 162, 186, 195, 210 
Ok y pete, I9I 
Olympia, 4, 6, lo, 40, 41, -48, 

128, 244 
Olympiads, 16, 42 
Olympian Game-^, 16, 244 
Olympos, 6, 10, 24, 25, 30, 42. 43. 

44. 47, 7 1' 77. ^'^ '>^ i^'"^. 
157, 158, 162, 166, 169, 174, 
176, 177. 178, 179. iSS, 207, 209, 
224, 22C-), 231 , 235, 246, 248, 296, 

331. 345 
Omphale, 263 
<');iciroix)mpf/s, 122 
Oneiros, 195 
Onuphis, see Apis 
Opheltes, 279 



Ops, 32, 140 

Orchomenos, 174, 247 

Oreads, 25, 137, 153 

Oreithyia, 165, 238 

Orestes,! 13, 189, 190, 290, 302, 303 

Orion, ill, 1 66 

OiTnuzd, 342 

Orpheus, 58, 150, 153, 228; legend 

of, 234 J 272 
Oschophoria, 269 
Osiris, 343; described, 347; 348, 

349> 350, 35^ y 3S2 
Ossa, 209 
Othrys, 30 
Otos, 76, 209, 231 
Ovid, 133 

Palsemon, 149 

Palamedes, 126, 212, 288,290 
Pales, 143 
Palilia, 143, 307 
Palladium, 73, 78, 95, 298, 300 
Pallantides, 266 
Pallas-Athene, see Athene 
Pallas, brother of ^geus, 239, 266 
Pallas, the Giant, 43, 183 
Pan, 106, 135; described, 1365 

138,144, 153, 155.344 
Panathensea, 82, 93, 269 
Panathenaic prize, vases, 93 
Pandareos, 191 
Pandion, 237, 239 
Pandora, 208 
Pandrosos, 236 

Panes, Paniski, 137, 139, 141 
Panic fear, 137 
Panope, 147 
Paphos, 87 

Parcse, 128, 182, 185,269 
Paris, 87, 283, 284, 285, 286,287,324 
Pamassos, 44, 158, 206 
Parthenia, 48 
Parthenos, 93 
Parthenope, 150 
Parthenopseos, 76, 278 
Pasiphiie, 240, 241, 242 
Pasithea, 147, 175 
r-atroklos, 203, 288, 289, 293, 295 
Paul, St., 115 
Pausanias, 42, 196 
Pax, see Eirene 

Pedasos, 292 

Pegasos, 52, 92, 155, 166, 167, 192, 
216, 221, 223 

Peirene, 220, 221 

Peirithoos, 231, 232, 268, 272 

Peitho, Suada, Suadela, 86, 176 

Peleus, 128, 147, 158, 187, 233, 262, 
270, 272, 283, 288 

Peliads, 153 

Pelias, 53, 271, 275 

Pelion, 153, 179, 209, 233, 251 

Peloponnesos, 99, 179, 206 

Pelops, 42, 243, 244 > 

Pelos, 204 

Penates, 198 

Peneios, 6, 151 

Penelope, 306, 307 

Penthesilea, 295 

Pentheus, 1 1 9, 227 

Pephredo, 193 

Pericles, I 

Periklymenos, 263 

Periphates, 266 

Perkunes, Perune, 316 

Perseis, 240, 274 

Persephone, Proserpina, Kora, 18, 
57, 62; described, 63; 65, 
67, 68, 69, 70,86, 100, 129, 149, 
170, 189, 220, 232, 234, 347, 350 

Perses, 70, 2 18 

Perseus, 91, 191, 192, 193, 204; 
legend of, 215; 221, 246, 248 

Persians, 92, 102, 165 

Pessinus, 35 

Phgeakians, 306 

Phsedra, 241, 269 

Phaenna, 175 

Phcestos, 240, 242 

Phaethon,-io7, 108 

Phaethusa, 108 

Phantasos, 195 

Pheidias, I, 4, 42, 48, 77, 169 

Pheme, Fama, 188 

Pherce, 106, 262, 270 

Pherusa, 147 

Philammon, 235 

Philemon, 38 

Philoktetcs, 242, 290, 298, 301 

Philomela, 237, 238 

Phineus, 191, 217, 273 

Phlius, 176, 177 



Phobetor, 19$ 

rhobos, 76 

rhcche, 285 

rh(cl)Os, see Apollo 

rhanicians, 31, 84, 239 

Phoenix, 225, 240 

Phokis, 302 

Pholos, 251 

Phorkys, 149, 19I, 193 

Phoroncus, 206, 210 

Phnxh, Pharaoh, 346 

Phrixos, 272 

Piciimnus, 139 

Picus, 1 38, 139 

Pierides, 157 

Pieria, 157, 234, 235 

Pieros, 157 

I'ihimnus. 139 

Pimpla, Pimplea, 157 

Pindar, I, 3,68, 174 

Pindos, 158 

Pittheus, 265 

Piataeae, 204 

Plato, I 

Pleiads, 154, 252 

Pleione, 154 

Plexaure, 154 

Pluto, see Hades, and 18,29, 33, 

149, 179, 220 
Plutos, 66, 131 
Podarge, 191 
Podarkes, 263 
Pteas, 242 
Poena, i36 
I'olias, 93 

Pollux, see Poiydeukes 
Pt)lybos, 230 
Polybotes, 43 
Polydektes, 215, 217, 248 
Poiydeukes, Pollux, 227, 270, 272, 

273. 285 
Polydoros, 226, 227 
PolyhyiDnia, Polymnia, 160 
I'olyidos, 221 
Polykleitos, 48 
Polykrates, 49 
Polyneikes, 230, 277, 278, 279, 2S0, 

Polyphemos, 52, 305, 306 
Polyphonte, 87 
Pomona, 131, 132, 139 

Pontios, 220 

Pontes, 22, 146, 218 

J'oqjhyrion, 43 

Poseidon, Neptune, lo, 16, 24, 29, 
33, 36, 43; described, 50; 57, 
67, 72,85,89,92, 106, 118, 125, 
146, 147. 148, 149, 154, 164, 
191, 192, 211, 216, 219, 220, 
222, 225, 228, 231, 233, 236, 
237, 241, 243, 244, 254, 305, 
306, 331 

Potamia, 1 13 

Potamids, 154 

Pothos, 86, 171 

Potiphar, 222 

Prxneste, 183 

Praxiteles, i, 169 

Priamos, 263, 283, 30I 

Priapos, Lutinus, 135 

Prithivi, 339 

Prodikos, 246 

Projtos, 213, 214, 218, 222 

Prokne, 237, 238 

Prokris, 1 67 

Prokrustes, 266 

Prometheus, 81, 82, 89, 1 95, 204; 
described, 205 ; 210, 233, 262 

Proserpina, see Persephone 

Proteus, 146 

Prj'mno, 1 54 

Psyche, 170, 171 

Psychopompos, 122 

Pthah, 343, 346 

Pyanepsia, 269 

Pygmalion, 86 

Pylades, 302, 303 

Pylos, 239 

Pylos, Town of, 1 23, 263, 287 

l^-rrha, 44, 206 

Pythagoras, 14 

Pythia, 102 

Pythian Games, 16, 104 

Pythios, 104, 105 

Python, 97, 104, 105, 202 

Quoasir, 332 

Ra, Phra, 344, 345. 3S^ 
Rakhshasas, 331 



Ramayana, 321, 340 

Ranno, 344 

Reate, 77 

Regin, 323, 324 

Reifriesen, 321 

Reimthursen, Rime, or Frost, 31 1 

Remus, 75, 77, 307 

Rerir, 322 

Rhadamanthys, 62, 240, 243, 247 

Rhamnusia, 186 

Rhea, Kybele, 27, 29, 31 ; described, 

2,Z'y 57,65,71, I44>347 
Rhea Silvia, 75 
Rhodeia, 154 
Rhodes, 99, 149 
Rhodope, 235 
Rhoetos, 43 
River Gods, 151 
Romulus 75, 77, 134, 247, 307 

Sabaeism, 346 
Sabines, 134 
Soecular Games, 62 
Saga, 314 
Sais, 345 
Saivas, ^Z^ 
Salacia, 55 
Salamis, 54, 93, 103 
Salii, 78 
Samnites, 187 
Samos, 49, 169 
Samothrace, 126 
Saranyn, 327 
Sarapis, see Serapis 
Saraswati, 337 
Sarpedon, 240, 243 
Sati, 344, 345, 352 
Saturnalia, 31, 32, 199 
Saturnia, 32 
Saturnus, 18, 29; described, 31, 

32; 132, 133, 139, 143 
Satyavrate, 339 
Satyriski, 141 
Satyrs, described, 141 ; 144, 145, 

152, 153 
Savitar, 332 
Scopas, 169 
Scutari, 273 
Scylla, 306 
S^^, 346, 347, 348 

Selene, Luna, 70; described, 109; 

Selinus, 192, 219 
Semele, 39, 48, 118, 140, 149, 226, 

Semnoe, see Erinys 
Serapis, Sarapis, 350 
Seriphos, 215, 216, 217 
Servius Tullius, 74, 1 14, 1 16, 178 
Seth, 347 
Seven Wonders of the Ancient 

World, 42 
Sibyl, see Cumsean ' 

Sicily, 85, 99, 143, 163, 192, 219, 

Sidon, 239 
Siegfried, 248 
Siggeir, 322 
Sigi, 322 

Sigmund, 317, 322, 323 
Sigmund, Sigfusson, 310 
Signi, 322 

Sigurd, 317, 323, 324 
Sikyon, 99, 207, 214, 228 
Silenos, Sileni, 118, 141 ; described, 

Silvanus, 141, 142, 143 
Silver Age, 44 
Sinis, 266 
Sinon, 300 
:[inope, 350 
Sintians, 79 

Sirens, described, 150; 306 
Sirius, III 

Sisyphos, 61 ; described, 219 
Siva, Mahadeva, 336; described, 

Skirnir, 317 
Skyros, 2S8, 298 
Sleipnir, 312 
Smyrna, 186 
Socrates, I, 17, 180 
Sol, see Helios 
Soma, 332, 334 
Somnus, see Hypnos 
Sophocles, I, 231, 325 
Soteira, 93 
Sparta, 87, 98,99, 113, 157, 169, 

174, 245, 284, 285 
Spartae, 226, 227 



Sphinx, 230; (Eg)'ptian), 352 

Steropcs, 27 

Sthcino, 191 

Sthcnelxua, 213, 222 

Sthenelos, 246 

Strymon, 234 

Styniphalian Birds, 250, 252 

Stymphalos, 252 

Styx, 58, 107, 162, 183 

Suaila, Suadcla, see Peitho 

Siulri, 311 

Sulla, 103 

Siirtr, 321 

Surya, 331 

Sybaris, 99 

Symjilegadcs, 274 

Syrinx, 136 

Talos, 239, 242 

Tantalos, 61, 229, 243 

Tarentum, 99 

Tarquin, 103 

Tai-sos, 218 

Taitaros, 1 8, 25, 30, Co, 70, 87, 

145. 193. I94» 196, 213, 232, 

Tauric Artemis, 113 
Tauros, 190, 290, 302 
Taygete, 252 
Tcgea, 77 
Teiresias, 60, 306 
Telamon, 262, 295 
Teleia, Tcieios, 48 
Telemachos, 2S7, 306 
Telephassa, 225 
Telephos, 289, 290, 298 
Tclesphoros, 181 
Telcsto, 154 
Tempo, 6. 52, 231 
Tenedos, 149, 300 
Tereus, 237, 238 
Terminalia, 135 
Terminus, 134 
Terpsichore, 161 
Terra, see Gaea 
Tethys, 23, 27,55; described, 145. 

Teutamias, 21S 
Thalassio;, 173 

Thalia, 159, 174 

Thallo, 129 

Thamyris, 235 

Thanatos, Mors, 194, 196, 197 

Thargclia, ICX) 

Thargelios, 100 

Thaos, 120 

Thaumas, 162, 1 91 

Thebais, 276 

Thebe, 228 

Thebes, 6, 76, 77, loi, 113, 118, 

119, 128, 167, 224; legends of, 

224, 247, 263 
Thel)es, War against, 277 
Thebes, Destruction of, 282 
Theia, 27, 165 
Themis, 27, 39, 105 ; described, 

127; 129, 131, 1S5, 283 
Thcmistocles, 103 
Theophane, 52. 
Theophania, 104 
Theoxenia, 104 
Thersites, 296 
Theseium, 269 
Theseus, 54, 91, 93, 176,204,223, 

232, 239, 241, 245 ; legend of, 

265, 270, 272, 275, 279, 286, 

Thesmophoria, 67 
Thesmophoros, 67 
Thespiae, 169, 247 
Thespios, 247 
Thessaly, 24, 30, 52, 66, 106, 206, 

217 ; legends of, 231 
Thetis, 24, 47, 80, 128, 147, 153, 

158,243,283,288, 294, 296 
Thiassi, 321 
Thoc, 147 
Thor Donar, 312,313; described, 

3^5' 321, SS^f 334 
Thoth, 347, 352 
Thrace, 144, 225 ; legends of, 233; 

Thucydidcs, I 
Thyene, 155 
Thyestes, 244, 245, 301 
Tir}'ns, 213, 218 
Tisiphone. 28, 190 
Titxa, 156 
Titans, 22, 25, 26, 28, ^3* 42, 50. 

137, 145, 200, 231 



Tithonos, 1 66, 167, 296 

Tityos, 61, 202 

Triformis, 71 

Trimurti, 336 

Trinakia, 107, 306 

Triptolemos, 66 

Tritogeneia, Tritonia, 88, 89 

Triton, described, 148; 150 

Tritonis, 89 

Trivia, 71 

Troezene, 128, 157, 265 

Troilos, 291 

Troll weiber, 321 

Tros, 178 

Troy, Ilion, 91, 95, 106, ill, 178, 

204, 245 ; war of, 283 
Tyche, Fortuna, 182, 185 
Tydeus, 277, 280, 296 
Tyndareus, 263, 286 
Typho, 343, 348 
Typbon, Typboeus, 164, 249, 351, 

Tyr, Ziu, 3i3» 3i8, 332 


Ullr, 313. 319 

Ulysses, see Odysseus 

Urania, 85, 87, 127, 160 

Uranos, 18, 22; described, 26 ; 27, 

28, 29, 33, 43. 85, 127, 145, 158, 

168, 328 
Usbas, 319, 335, 346 

Vaisbnavas, 338 

Valaskialf, 312 

Vali, 313 

Valkyrien, 321 

Varuha, 339 

Varuna, 328, 329, 332, 334 

Vayu, 334, 336 

Ve, 313 

Vedas, 9, 337 

Vedism, 327 

Veneralia, 87 

Venilia, 55 

Venus, see Apbrodite 

Vertumnus, 1 3 1, 132 

Vesta, see Hestia 

Vestalia, 75 

Vestal Virgins, 73 

Victoria, see Nike 

Vikings, 309 

Vingolf, 312 

Visbnu, 316, 332, 334; described, 


Vithar, 313, 319 

Volsungs, 317, 321, 322 

Volsung Saga, 324, 325 

Vritra,33i, 332, 342 

Vulcanalia, 83 


Walballa, 312, 314 

"We, 311 

Wetgam, 332 

Westri, 311 

Will, 311 

Wind Gods, 164 

Winds, Tower of, 165 

Wodan, Wuotan, 313, 343 

Xenopbon, i 

Xutbos, 238 


Yggdrasil, 312, 319 

Ymir, 311 


Zendavesta, 311 

Zepbyros, 99, 131, 164, 165, 166 

Zetes, 191, 272 

Zetbos, 227, 228, 229, 247 

Zeus, Jupiter, 2, 4, 10, 14, 16, 17, 
18, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, S3y 34, 
described, 35-45 ; 46, 47, 48, 50, 
51. 53» 56, 57^ 58, 63, 72, 75,76, 
77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, 88, 91, 
93, loi, 104, 106, 107, 108, 
113, 118,121, 122, 123,124, 125, 
128, 129, 130, 131, 136, 147, 
148, 149, 153, 154, 155. 157, 
158, 162, 164, 166, 168, 176, 177, 
186, 188, 189, 190, 197, 202, 203, 
206,207,208, 210, 212,214, 215, 
218, 219, 220, 224, 226, 227, 228, 
232, 235, 236, 239 240, 241, 242, 
244, 246, 247, 249, 255, 313, 314. 
315,328,329, 343 

Zeuxis, I 
Ziu, see Tyr 

Zygia, 48